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In riDeinoriam 

Frederick Douglass 

v.»,\».v- ■ '. ■;.• 

To live— that freedom, truth and [ife 

Might never know eclipse — 
To die, with woman'3 work and words 

Aglow upon his lips,— 
To face the foes of human kind 

Through years of wounds and scars,— 
It is enough ;— lead on— to find 

Thy place amid the stars" 

— Mary Lowe Dirftiww 

h e L e '^/l {-"'. r .. s -L: a x > l a. ^ G 

JOHN C YORSTON & CO^ Publishers 

J 897 



This simple Memorial Volume tells its own story. It 
is a record of the spontaneous expression of grief and 
surprise evoked by the unexpected death of Frederick 
Douglass. The news of this event startled the country as 
the ear is startled by the sudden crash when some monarch 
of the forest suddenly falls to the ground. 

These expressions of feeling are a solemn chord from 
living hearts suddenly swept by the invisible hand. They 
are instantaneous pictures of the impression which the 
powerful personality of Mr. Douglass had made upon the 
human mind, and a sincere tribute to him whose unpar- 
alleled life was only possible to, and the outward expression 
of, a soul upborne by a purpose born of God, and which, 
pursuing its pathway among the eternal spaces, pas^d 
suddenly and swiftly beyond mortal sight. 

This unpretending volume is a record of the world's 
impulse to honor him who so honored humanity, and of 
whom it can be truly said that " no event had power to 
disturb his heart ; that the pulse of his inner life remained 
fresh as long as life endured. " 



The Death of Frederick Douglass 17 


Removal of the Casket to the Metropolitan A. M. E. 

Church 19 

Opening of the Funeral Services, 21 

Prayer by the Rev. Alexander Crummell, D. D., of St. 

Luke's Episcopal Church, 22 

Reading of Scripture by Bishop Hood, D. D., of the 

A. M. E. Zion Church, 24 

Tribute by the Rev. J. T. Jenifer, Pastor of the Church, . 25 
Tribute by the Rev. Hugh T. Stevenson, Pastor of the 

First Baptist Church, Anacostia, 29 

Tribute by the Rev. J. F). Rankin, D. D., President of 

Howard University, 32 

Tribute and Song by Mr. John Hutchinson, of Lynn, 

Mass 38 

Tribute by Monsieur T. Nicolas, of the Haitieu Legation, 41 
Tribute by Bishop A. W. Wayman, of Baltimore, Md., . 41 
Tribute by the Rev. William B. Derrick, D. D., of the 

A. M. E. Church, of New York 41 

Singing by Mr. Moses Hodges, of Boston, Mass. , . . . 43 
Letter from Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, read by Miss 

Anthony 44 

Letter from Mr. C. C. Bonney, read by Miss Anthony, 45 

Remarks by Mrs. May Wright Sewell, President of the 

National Council of Women of the United States, . 45 



Prayer by the Rev. Anna Shaw, M. D., Vice-president of 

the National Woman's Suffrage Association 47 

Benediction by Bishop Williams, of the C. M. Church, 47 

Departure for Rochester, N. Y., 47 

Proceedings of the Common Council of the City of 

Rochester, N. Y., 51 

Arrival of the Funeral Cortege at Rochester 53 

Reception of the Remains in the City Hall, Rochester, . 54 
Funeral Services in the Central Church of Rochester, . . 55 
Invocation by the Rev. William R. Taylor, o( the Brick 

Church, 55 

Reading of Scripture by the Rev. Wesley A. Ely, of Zion 

Methodist Church 56 

Singing by Mr. George W. Watson, of the Central 

Church Quartette, 58 

Hymn, " Hide Thou Me." 
Reading of a Poem by Sherman D. Richardson, the 

Author 59 

Address by Miss Mary B. Anthony, Representative of the 

Woman's National Conference, Washington, D. C, . 59 
Singing by the Quartette of the Central Church, .... 60 

Hymn, " Lead, Kindly Light." 
Address of the Rev. W. C. Gannett, of the First Uni- 

versalist Church, Rochester 60 

Singing by the Quartette of the Central Church, .... 63 

Hymn, " Gathering Home. " 
Prayer and Benediction by the Rev. Dr. H. H. Stebbins, 

of the Central Church, 65 

Services at Mount Hope Chapel, Mount Hope Cemetery, 

Rochester, • • 65 




Titus Alexander, of Ann Arbor, Mich 74 

J. M. Ashley, of Toledo, Ohio, 82 

Augustine Protestant Episcopal Church Aid Literary, of 

Brooklyn, N. Y 76 

Charles A. Bradley, of Washington, D. C, 84 

Mrs. Helen P. Bright Clark, Somersetshire, England, . . 83 
Central Council of the International Society for the 

Recognition of the Brotherhood of Man, London, 

England 78 

J. M. Dalzell, of Caldwell, Ohio, 87 

Hon. John Eaton, Ex-Commissioner of Education, ... 70 
Frontier Lodge, No. 14, Knights of Honor of the World, 

London, England, 85 

Francis J. Garrison, of Roxbury, Mass 77 

William Lloyd Garrison, of Boston, Mass 79 

J. H. Gray, of Saginaw, Mich., 76 

Richard F. Greener, of New York City 74 

Hon. Clement Haentjens, Haitien Minister, 75 

Col. Richard J. Hinton, of Bay Ridge, N, Y 73 

Rev. Bishop James Theodore Holly, of Port-au-Prince, 

Haiti, 90 

Lewis G. Janes, of Brooklyn, N. Y., S3 

McKinley Republican Club, of Baltimore, Md 78 

Mrs. Rebecca Moore, of London, England 84 

National Council of Women of the United States, . . So 

Walter W. Pike, City Clerk of Cambridge, Mass 121 

Rev. E. W. Porter, President of Storer College and 

Pastor of the Free Baptist Church of Harper's 

Ferry, Va So 

Hon. Richard B. Pullun, of Cincinnati, Ohio, 73 

Rev. J. E. Rankin, President of Howard University, 

Washington, D. C 71 

Mrs. Caroline Richardson, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Eng- 
land, 87 

Miss Ellen Richardson, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, . 69 

Dr. Robert Reyburn, of Washington, D. C, 72 

Robert L. RufRn, of Boston,, 83 

Society of the Sons of New York, New York City, ... 83 

Some Rochester Friends, 91 

Eady Henry Somerset, of London, England ; written 

from Philadelphia. Pa 78 

Theodore Stanton, Paris, France 88 

St. Augustine's Church Literarj', of Brooklyn, N. Y., . . 76 
Sturge Lodge, No. 7, Independent Order of Good 

Templars, of Birmingham, England 86 

L. H. Taft, of Humboldt, Iowa, 89 

Theodore Tilton, of Paris, France, 88 

Booker T. Washington, of Tuskegee, Ala., 82 

Frances E. Willard, written from Philadelphia, Pa., . . 75 
Francis B. Woodbury, Secretary National Spiritualists' 

Association of the United States 69 

Woman's Anthropological Society, of Washington, D. C, 88 



Academy and Industrial School, at Asheville, N. C, . . 108 

Anti-Lynching Committee, of London, England 131 

Anti-Lynching League, of Northern Ohio, 114 

Assembly Club, of San Francisco, Cal., 143 

Benjamin Storrs, Jr.,, No. 68, G. A. R., of Dor- 
chester, Mass., 123 

Board of Trustees of Howard University, Washington, 

D. C ■ 103 



Central Tennessee College, Nashville, Tenn 102 

Cherry Street Baptist Church, of Philadelphia, Pa 133 

Christiansburg Institute, of Cambria, Va 115 

Citizens of Americus, Ga 125 

Citizens of Calvert, Texas, 116 

Citizens of Harper's Ferry, W. Va 122 

Citizens of Helena, Ark., 114 

Citizens of Madison, Ind 141 

Citizens of Philadelphia, Pa., 142 

Citizens of South Charleston, Ohio, 113 

Citizens of Springfield, Mo 118 

Citizens of Waco and adjoining towns, Texas 112 

City Council of Cambridge, Mass., 121 

City Council of Rochester, N. Y., 103 

Cleveland Social Club, of Cleveland, Ohio 118 

Colored American League, of Cheyenne, Wyo 107 

Colored Citizens of Cincinnati, Ohio, 131 

Colored Citizens of Elmira, N. Y., 135 

Colored Citizens of Knoxville, Tenn. , . no 

Colored Citizens of Marshall, Mo., 105 

Colored Citizens of St. Joseph, Mo. 104 

Colored Citizens of Urbana, Ohio, 134 

Colored Citizens of Worcester, Mass., 121 

Colored Republican Association of the State of New York, 136 
Corporators of the Miner Institute for the Education of 

Colored Youth, Washington, D. C 139 

David Hunter Post, No. 9, G. A. R., of Beaufort, S. C, . 120 

Dr. Simmon's Pioneer Lyceum, of Providence, R. I., . . 138 

Emancipation Association of the District of Columbia, . 107 

Fourth Ward Republican Club, of Raleigh, N. C, . . . 124 
Frederick Douglass Literary Association, of Baltimore, 

Md., loi 


Frederick Douglass Lyceum, of Memphis, Tenn 137 

General Assemblj' of the State of Illinois 97 

Instructors of Howard University, Washington, D. C, . 140 

Ida B. Wells Woman's Club, of Chicago, 111 117 

Industrial School, of Asheville, N. C, 108 

Kansas State Protective Home Association and W. T. 

C. U., 109 

Mass Meeting at Americus, Ga., 125 

Mass Meeting at Helena, Ark., 114 

Mass Meeting at the Academy of Music, Philadelphia, 

Pa., 142 

Mass Meeting at Calvert, Texas 116 

Mass Meeting at Knoxville, Tenn no 

Mass Meeting at Springfield, Mo 118 

Mass Meeting at St. Joseph, Mo. 104 

Members of Providence Hospital Staff, Baltimore, Md., . 98 

Memorial Meeting in Allen Temple, Cincinnati, Ohio, . 131 

Memorial Meeting at Madison, Ind 141 

Memorial Meeting in Motmt Zion Baptist Church, Peoria, 

111 99 

Memorial Meeting in Quinn Chapel, Chicago, 111., . ... 117 
Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of 

Slavery, Philadelphia, Pa., 144 

Progressive Republican Club, of Xenia, Ohio, 137 

Robert G. Shaw Veteran Association, of Boston, Mass., . 100 
Senate and House of Representatives of the Common- 
wealth of Massachusetts, 129 

Seventh Ward Republican Club, of Providence, R. I., . 135 

Shaw University, Raleigh, N. C, 95 

Social Literary Society, of Amherstburg, Canada, ... 130 

Staff of Providence Hospital, Baltimore, Md 98 

Storer College, Harper's Ferry, W. Va 99 



Sturge Lodge, Independent Order of Good Templars, 

Birmingham, England, no 

Syracuse Lodge, No. lo, Knights of Pythias, St. Joseph, 

Mo., 119 

Temperance and Collegiate Institute, of Claremout, Va., . 99 

West End Auxiliary Club, of Chicago, 111 100 

Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio 120 

Woman's League, of Denver, Col., 129 

Woman's Loyal Union, of New York City 132 

Women's National Council 95 

Woman's Political Equality Club, of Rochester, N. Y., . 116 

Young Men's Foraker Club, of Cleveland, Ohio, .... in 

Sonnets to the Memory of Frederick Douglass. By 

Theodore Tilton 149 

Poem. " In Memoriam." By Robert Reyburn, M. D., . 48 

Poem. " Frederick Douglass." By Cordelia Ray, . . . 161 
Poem. "Frederick Douglass." By Arthur Elwell 

Jenks 165 

An Epitaph. By Mrs. Laura H. Clark 166 

Poem. "Frederick Douglass." By Paul Lawrence 

Dunbar 168 

Poem. "Frederick Douglass." By Rev. Phebe A. 

Hanaford 48 

Poem. " Frederick Douglass." By J. H. Gray, ... 166 

Poem. " Frederick " By Mary Lowe Dickinson, 163 

Poem. " Frederick Douglass. " By Ruth D. Havens, . 170 

Poem. " Our Douglass. " By William A. Joiner, ... 157 
"The Mystery of the Grave." A Song. Dedicated to 

the Memory of Frederick Douglass. Words by 

James A. Thomas. Music by Mrs. T. H. Lyles, . . 167 




Memorial Sermon of the Rev. Francis J. Grimk^, of the 
Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church, Washington, 
D. C, 177 

Memorial Address of the Rev. J. E. Rankin, D. D., Presi- 
dent of Howard University, Washington, D. C, . . 195 

Memorial Meeting at the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian 

Church, Washington, D. C 208 


Prayer by Rev. William V. Tunnell 208 

Introductorj^ Remarks of Robert E. Terrell, the Presiding 

Ofi&cer, 209 

Resolutions Offered by Frederick G. Barbadoes, .... 210 

Address of Charles B. Purvis, M. D. 211 

Address of Rev. Alexander Cnimmell, D. D 215 

Address of Hon. John S. Durham, ex-Minister to Haiti, . 219 

Tribute by Mrs. Charlotte F. Grimk^, 221 

Address of Hon. John R. Lynch, 222 

Address of Hon. P. B. S. Pinchbeck, 224 

Address of Dr. Rush R. Shippen 227 

Address of Rev. William A. Creditt, " Douglass in His- 
tory," 228 

Benediction by the Rev. Francis J. Grimke, D. D., . . . 231 

Memorial Address of Mr. Isaac C. Wears, at the Academy 

of Music, Philadelphia, Pa 237 

Memorial of Dr. H. L. Waylaud, at the Academy 

of Music, Philadelphia, Pa 237 

Memorial Address of Mrs. Fanny J. Coppiu, at the 

Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pa 241 

Memorial of Professor W. H. Hart, 259 



Memorial Tribute by S. H. Taft, of Humboldt, Iowa, . . 241 
Remarks of Justice John M. Harlan, at the Memorial 

Meeting, Washington, D. C 244 

Memorial Address of Hon. E. D. Bassett, at the Memorial 

Meeting, Washington, D. C 244 

Memorial Discourse of Rev. Dr. Albert Louis Banks, . . 257 

Memorial Address of Professor H. T. Kealing, 270 

Eulog>- on the Life and Public Services of Frederick 

Douglass, by Professor George F. Cook, 272 



The "Advance," Chicago, 111., 309 

The "Bee," San Francisco, Cal 292 

The " Pilot," Boston, Mass 320 

The "Post," Boston, Mass., 303 

The "Transcript," Boston, 286 

The "Eagle," Brooklyn, N. Y 286 

The "Times," Brooklyn, N. Y 287 

The " Herald," Chicago, 111 297 

The "Tribune," Chicago, 111 296 

The " Western Newspaper Union," Chicago, 111 322 

The " Christian Recorder, " Philadelphia, Pa 324 

The " Christian Register, " Boston, Mass. , 308 

The "Christian World," Strand, London, England, . . 312 

The " Daily News, " Strand, London, England, .... 298 

The " Democrat and Chronicle," Rochester, N. Y., . . 305 

The "Tribune," Detroit, Mich., 320 

The " Evangelist," New York, N. Y., 310 

The " Evening Star," Washington, D. C, 285 

The " Freeman," Indianapolis, Ind., 313 

The "Journal," Indianapolis, Ind., 288 

The " News," Indianapolis, Ind., 291 

The "Sentinel," Indianapolis, Ind., 295 

"Le Journal de Rouen," Rouen, France 307 

" Iv'Eclair," France 301 

" La Justice," Paris, France, 304 

The " Independent," New York, N. Y., 307 

The "Mail and Express," New York, N. Y 288 

The " Morning Advertiser," New York, N. Y 174 

The "Tribune," New York, N. Y 294 

The "Outlook," New York, N. Y 319 

The "Times," Pittsburg, Pa., 291 

The " Presbyterian Journal," Philadelphia, Pa., .... 321 

The "Press," Philadelphia, Pa., 300 

The "Review of Reviews," 325 

The " Republican," Springfield, Mass 289 

The "Strassburger Post," Strassburg, Germanj' 316 

The "Times," Oakland, Cal., 300 

The " Capital," Topeka, Kan., 289,323 

The "Tribune," Salt Lake City, Utah, 299 

The " Post," Washington, D. C 293 

The " Weekly Astonisher," Philadelphia, Pa 296 


The " Methodist," Philadelphia, Pa 329 

The "Times," Narragansett, R. 1 330 

The " New Englander," 332 


Frederick Douglass 339 



MashinGton, 2)» C. 



Died February 20, J895, Act. 78. 

The world does not need to be told who Frederick 
Douglass was, or why he lived. So long had he stood as 
a synonym for human enfranchisement, so thoroughly had 
he been identified with the effort for its achievement, that 
to speak his name was to give an epitome of the anti-slav- 
ery struggle in the United States. He was a tower of 
strength to those whose cause he espoused. He was hon- 
ored by the virtuous and feared by the mean and wicked. 
He was without fear and without reproach. Keenly alive 
to the advantages of wealth and position, their temptations, 
nevertheless, fled from before his singleness of purpose. His 
was a living consecration, and he endured imto the end. 

At his home. Cedar Hill, Anacostia, D. C, at the close 
of day, Tuesday, February 20, 1895, suddenly and peace- 
fully, Frederick Douglass entered into his eternal rest. 
The day had been spent in attendance at the Triennial 
Session of the Women's Coinicil, then being held in Wash- 
ington, and upon his return home, while cheerfully recount- 
ing the incidents of the day, the strong, sweet Angel of Death 
drew him gentl}' within the vail, and he was with God. 

The winter, though spent mostly at home, had been one 
of ceaseless activity. On the evening of February i, Mr. 
Douglass lectured at West Chester, Pa., when, " toward 
the close, he laid aside his manuscript and spoke extem- 
poraneously and with his old-time fire." The evening but 
one before his death he had spoken at a meeting in Wash- 
ington, called to consider the subject of restoring the right 
2 (17) 


of suffrage to tlie citizens of the District, and, a few 
moments after his death, a friend called to con\-ey him to 
a neighboring church where he was to address the people. 
But the voice that, for more than fifty years, had sounded 
like a tocsin through the land ; that had never been heard 
in advocacy of any doubtful measure ; but had declared 
that in any compromise it is always the right that is com- 
promised, had that day made its last public utterance, which 
was for the removal of the final barrier to perfect and abso- 
lute human freedom, and was already stilled in death. 
When another day dawned, two hemispheres were saying, 
" Frederick Doiiglass is dead ! " 

Telegrams and letters and visits of condolence and 
sympathy did their titmost to express the feeling of per- 
sonal and public bereavement, a bereavement that fell with 
crushing weight upon the race for whose deliverance and 
advancement Frederick Douglass spent his life, with a 
devotion that never faltered, a zeal that never lessened, 
and a patience and persistency that never wearied ; a race 
for which, turning his back upon all the possibilities that 
a life in England opened to a mind as sensitive and as 
aspiring as his, he could say to those who not only urged 
this, but would see that he and his family were established 
in competence, " I go back, turning away from comfort 
and ease and respectabilit)', which I might maintain here. 
I go back for the sake of my brethren. I go back to suffer 
with them, to toil with them for that emancipation which 
is yet to be achieved by the power of truth over the basest 
selfishness. I could not remain here at peace with the 
consciousness that there are three millions of my fellow 
creatures groaning beneath the iron rod of the worst 
despotism that could be devised, even in hell ! " 

This fidelity and the spotless integrity of his soul were 
his to the last. Now, all this was over. The cruel limi- 
tations of hi^ life ; the scorn, the ignominy and the 


contumely and the misapprehension, and the insolence of 
attempted patronage, often by those upon whom the world 
smiled, but who could never hope to reach up to his level ; 
from these and all the thousand stings of ingratitude, his 
soul was free. 

Each day, from early morning till late evening, a 
mournful procession climbed the hillside to look upon the 
face of the dead, and each turned away feeling that it was 
his or her dead lying there. 

The world knows the heroic figure of Frederick Doug- 
lass. His noble and picturesque head was the ambition of 
artists, and his mobility of expression their despair. Now, 
when the sensitive features no longer responded to the soul's 
quick emotion, the fundamental quality of strength came 
powerfully forth, that reverent, fearless strength, which 
was a dominant characteristic, and which, in life, flashed 
out in rebuke of meanness and wrong. It was the highest 
possible embodiment of the awful majesty of death ! The 
immense torso, the majestic head and the noble dignity of 
expression, spoke, not of time, but of eternity ; the eternity 
of the past as well as of that to come. 

United to heroic size was a remarkable perfection of 
form. To nothing was the lifeless body so like as to a 
huge Egyptian monolith. It wore the same calm, digni- 
fied, inscrutable expression ; the was, and is, and is to be. 
From it flashed into the soul of the beholder a sudden 
comprehension, and a voice within the soul said, Now under- 
standest thou old Egypt? An artist standing by, said, 
" I cannot conceive of Mr. Douglass as dead ! He does not 
speak, but it does not seem to be because he cannot ! He 
seems to be silent for reasons of his own ! " 

On the morning of Monday, February 25, after a brief 
service at the house, the body of Mr. Douglass, re- 
posing in a plain but massive oak casket, was removed to 
the Metropolitan A. M. E. Church in Washington, where 

20 7^ MEMORIAM. 

it lay in state until the hour of the funeral at two o'clock 
in the afternoon of that daj'. To the colored people of the 
District the event was one of peculiar sadness. The day 
was generally observed by them. They closed their public 
schools and their places of business, and ceased their pur- 
suits and thronged to the church to do honor to the dead 
— their dead. Early in the morning the throng began 
to assemble at the church. " As the hours passed the gath- 
ering swelled until it reached down M street to Fifteenth, 
and down that thoroughfare past L street. The front of 
the church was massed with men, women and children, the 
throng extending to the westward, even past Sixteenth 
street. It was estimated that 25,000 persons were gath- 
ered in the streets." A few minutes before ten o'clock a 
plain hearse drove slowly through the waiting concourse 
to the church doors, where it was met by the trustees of 
the church, an honorary guard of honor furnished by the 
General Russell A. Alger Camp, No. 25, Sons of Veterans, 
division of Maryland, in the fatigue uniform of the United 
States Cavalry, the detail in charge of Captain Judd 
Malvin ; Past Captain John P. Turner, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Hamilton S. Smith, Sergeant Willis A. Madden and 
Sergeant Woodson of the Tenth United States Cavalry. 

The heavy oaken casket was carried to the dais of the 
main auditorium of the great church, and members of the 
guard of honor were detailed to stand at the head and foot of 
the casket, while others stood at the entrance and exit 
doors. No attempt had been made to decorate the church. 
Save a single draping of black about the pillar lights at 
the pulpit, not a sign of mourning was to be seen. Then 
through the church steadily poured the procession of sad- 
faced people. " Some would have stood and shed their tears 
upon the casket, had time allowed such demonstration of 
grief. It was a wonderfully impressive throng of people. 
There were white-haired old men, who had known Mr. 


Douglass from the time when the struggle for race liberty 
began in this country. Fathers and mothers lifted little 
children to see the face of their champion. Men and 
women wept, and upon all there was the look of genuine 
sorrow for the death of a generous benefactor. Here and 
there in the long, pei'sistent stream of humanity, came one 
bearing a flower, a fern leaf or a bouquet, which was 
silently laid upon the casket. Thousands upon thousands 
thus looked for the last time on the face of Frederick 
Douglass, greatest of their race in this age." Among the 
man)' beautiful floral designs with which the pulpit was 
banked, was a large wreath of ferns and violets from Mr. 
Douglass' associates on the Board of Trustees of the Insti- 
tution of Colored Youth, with the inscription, " Farewell 
to Frederick Douglass," bearing the signatures of his 
co-laborers. Rev. Rush R. Shippen, S. A. Bond, Henry M. 
Baker, Henry P. Montgomery, J. O. Wilson, Dr. Caroline 
B. Winslow, Emily J. Brigham and Marj^ J. Stroud ; 
tributes from the pupils of the colored High School ; from 
the various colored schools of the city ; from the pupils of 
Wilson School, Meridian Hill, and from individuals and 
personal friends. From the Women's Council came a beau- 
tiful tribute significantly composed of laurel and palm. 
The Government of Haiti sent its testimonial, a magnifi- 
cent victor wreath of roses, orchids, lilies of the valley and 
violets, within which were woven the leaves of a rare East 
Indian palm and the national colors in broad red and blue 
ribbons upon which were engraved in silver, " Republique 
d'Haiti Temoignage d'Estime et de Regrets." 

The funeral procession, as it entered the church, was led 
by Rev. Dr. Jenifer, pastor of the church, reading the 
litany. The reserved seats were occupied by the family 
and friends, by the honorary pall-bearers and delegations 
from New York, Baltimore, Norfolk and Annapolis. 
Upon the platform were Rev. Dr. Jenifer, pastor, and Rev. 


Dr. John W. Beckett, former pastor of the church ; Bishop 
J. W. Hood, D. D., of the A. M. E. Zion Church ; Bishop 
A. W. Wayman, of Baltimore, Md. ; Dr. J. E. Rankin, 
D. D., President of Howard University ; Rev. Dr. Alex- 
ander Crummell, D. D., of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 
Washington ; Rev. Hugh T. Stevenson, of the First 
Baptist Church, Anacostia, D. C. ; Miss Susan B. Anthony, 
President of the National Woman Suffrage Association ; 
Rev. Anna H. Shaw, M. D., Vice-President of the National 
Woman Suffrage Association ; Mrs. May Wright Sewall, 
President of the National Council of Women of the United 
States ; Mr. John Hutchinson, of L,ynn, Mass. ; Monsieur 
T. Nicolas, Secretary of the Haitien Legation ; Hon. E. 
W. Durham, ex-United States Minister to Haiti ; Rev. J. 
C. Embry, of Philadelphia ; Rev. L.J. Coppin, D.D., of Phil- 
adelphia, and Hon. C. H. J. Taylor, of Washington, D. C. 
Rev. John W. Beckett, D. D., read the opening hymn, 
" Nearer, my God, to Thee," which was impressively sung 
by the choir of the church. The Rev. Alexander Crum- 
mell, D. D., then offered the following prayer : 

We bow down before Thy throne, O God, our Father, with reverence 
and humility; with praise and thanksgiving; with submissiveness. 
Thou art the great Ruler of the universe; and we but feeble creatures 
of the earth ! Deep and marvelous are Thy ways, O Lord, and we 
cannot always understand them ; and when death enters our circles, we 
are staggered, not seldom, at Thy providences, and overcome with Thy 
dealings with the sons of men. "Thou turnest man to destruction ; and 
again Thou sayest. Come again, thou children of men!" "How 
unsearchable are Thy judgments, O Lord, and Thy ways past finding 
out!" "Clouds and darkness are round about Thee," and we cannot 
understand Thee; for "Thy righteousness is like the great mountains, 
and Thy judgments are as the great deep." 

But nothing, O Lord, can obscure Thy mar\'elous goodness to the 
sons of men. "Thy mercy reachest unto the heavens, and Thy faith- 
fulness unto the clouds." Thou art God; and so we know that Thou 
art the Good. We cannot fathom Thy mystery; but we know Thy 
graciousness, and we acknowledge Thy great loving kindness. 

How wonderful art Thou, O God, in Thy gifts to the sons of men ! 
How lavish the outpourings of Thy favors to the creatures of Thy 

FliEDEl^'ICK DO Ua LASS. 23 

make! How especially Jo we see Thy boiintifulness in the gift, in 
heaven and on earth, of both angels and men, for the glory of Thy 
name and the good of Thy creatures ! 

We bless Thy holy name for the mission, to the societies of men, of 
patriots and prophets ; of apostles and martyrs ; of noble Confessors and 
devoted Reformers; who, all along the lines of historj', served their 
generation, and glorified God. 

On this day of sorrow and sadness, and amid the gloom of death, wc 
recognize the light of Thy goodness and the glory of Thy beneficence, 
in the life and labors, in the zeal and bravery, of the great man whom 
Thou hast removed from the duties of life and from the bosom of his 
family. We bless Thy holy name for the strong desires for letters and 
culture which marked his boyhood ! We praise Thee for the currents 
of his youthful ambition for superiority! We thank Thee for the 
earnest aspirations of his early manhood for elevation ! We glorify 
Thee for the hungering and thirsting of his soul for freedom ! 

All these were the gift of God to his manly being! Thou didst put 
these qualities into his living soul. They were Thine! All the things 
of good come from Thee! Thou art the fountain of all human excel- 
lence; and "of Thine own do we give unto Thee. " 

We praise Thee, too, O Lord, for the higher gifts of Thy favor to 
Thy servant : — for the gleams of burning poetry ! For the flights of lofty 
imagination! For the thrilling threads of sensibility! For the strength 
and dignity of noble speech! For the majesty of subduing eloquence! 

We bless Thee, above all, for that constant apprehension of truth 
which swayed the soul of Thy servant. We thank Thee for the moral 
elevation of his persistent life; for his devotion to the cause of man; 
for his self-consecration to the work of freedom and the emancipation 
of the slave; for his resolute maintenance of the right; for his resist- 
ance to the audacity of slavery' ; for his defiance of the pagan caste- 
spirit of our sinful country ! We thank Thee, O God, our Father, 
for the gift of this great preacher and prophet of Justice and 
Freedom ! 

And now, O Lord, Thou hast removed him from the bosom of his 
family aud the society of his friends! May this instance of mortality 
serve its proper teaching to us all ! May none of us forget that death 
is our nearest neighbor; that, in a moment, in "the twinkling of an 
eye, " we may be called to the realities of eternity. Give us grace so to 
live that life may be a constant preparation for Thy presence, and for 
eternal blessedness, through Jesus Christ our Lord! 

Soften, we beseech Thee, the icy touch of death, upon the tender 
hearts of wife and children and kinsfolk ! Calm their sensibilities, 
under this great bereavement! Open all our eyes upon the grand reali- 
ties which reach beyond the grave! 

And so come to us all, O Lord, with the teachings of duty; of high 
resolve for the ser\'ice of man; with the spirit of self-sacrifice; with 


the purpose of heroic adherence to truth ; with glad and unselfish 
devotedness to Thee, our Saviour and our God ! 

Lift up our hearts, O Lord our God, to Thee, with gratitude for the 
gift of a noble man ! Fill our souls with the passion of imitation for 
excellence and life-long zeal for humanity. Amen. 

Bishop J. W. Hood, D. D., of the A. M. E. Zion 
Church, Washington, then read the following selection of 
Scripture : 

PSALM xc. 

Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. 

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed 
the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. 

Thou turnest man to destruction ; and sayest, Return, ye children of 

For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is 
past, and as a watch in the night. 

Thou carriest them away as with a flood ; they are as a sleep : in the 
morning they are like grass which groweth up. 

In the morning it fiourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is 
cut down, and withereth. 

For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we 

Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light 
of thy countenance. 

For all our da)-s are passed away in thy wrath : we spend our days as 
a tale that is told. 

The days of our years are threescore years and ten ; and if by reason 
of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and 
sorrow ; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. 

Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy 
fear, so is Thy wrath. 

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto 

Return, O Lord, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy 

O satisfy us early with thy mercy ; that we may rejoice and be glad 
all our days. 

Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afl3icted us, 
and the years wherein we have seen evil. 

Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their 

And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish 
thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands 
establish thou it. 


After an aiithetu b)- the choir the pastor, Rev. J. T. 
Jenifer, paid tlie following tribute to the memory of Mr. 
Douglass, taking for his text : 

" Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man 
fallen this da)- in Israel?" — 2 Sam. iii. 38. "And I 
heard a voice from heaven saying. Write, Blessed are the 
dead that die in the Lord, from henceforth ; yea, saith the 
vSpirit, that the)- may rest from their labors : and their 
works do follow them." — Rev. .\iv. 13. He said : 

Thursday last the peoples of five continents and the islands read with 
retjret the sad intelligence: "Frederick Douglass is dead." 

To-da)' the world unites in sympathy with us who sorrow for our 
great loss by this death. We mourn the taking away of him who was 
our eminent and beloved leader and most illustrious example of our 
possibilities as a people, Frederick Douglass, a representative ever 
faithful to his people, their champion, wise counsellor and fearless de- 
fender. Such a life as his is itself an oration, and this gathering an echo. 

No man can give the people Frederick Douglass' funeral discourse ; 
he has delivered that himself by his life and labors. He is in fifty 
years of his country's eventful historj-. Seventy-eight years he was 
passing through the most thrilling epochs of his people's experiences 
in this, their land of conflicts and sufferings. 

Our text tells us of "a great man" that had fallen in the national 
struggles in Lsrael. All parts of history are tributaries to the one vast 
whole, as rivers that go into the ocean help to make a whole. It was 
the leading spirits among the Egj'ptian, Assyrian, Grecian, Hebrew 
and Roman peoples that made them so potent factors in the world's 
advance in civilization. Each of these peoples at its appointed time 
came into its place as a part of this vast whole of historj-. The 
Hebrews have been large tributaries to the tide of the world's advance- 
ment ; Moses, David, Abner and their kind evidenced their people's 
possibilities in leadership. 

When this Republic entered as a tributary to the current of events 
George Washington, pre-eminent among his followers, led them. The 
Afro-Americans becoming potent factors in American history, Fred- 
erick Douglass has been the pre-eminent leader of them. But let us 
not forget that the courses of each and all the tributaries that run 
in to make the gulf stream of human history are guided by the 
Almighty God, whose hidden hand directs the main current in its 
onward flow to the betterment and broadest happiness of mankind. 

Our text says that Abner was "a great man. " Men show themselves 
to be great as they evidence their abilities in overcoming difficulties in 


the achievements that benefit niankinj. Where in history do we find a 
more eminent example of this than Frederick Douglass? 

What an inspiring example of possibilities the life of Frederick 
Douglass has set before young men. A hungry slave boy in crocus 
trousers, tussling with the dog "Tip" for a crust of bread. The sign- 
boards are made his alphabet; from this he advances to the devourer 
of the contents of books, the coiner of great thoughts, the orator, the 
writer, lecturer, editor, author, the foreign traveler, the consort and 
counsellor with great men and great women ; he is Commissioner of the 
District of Columbia, the United States Marshal, the Recorder of 
Deeds, the Foreign Diplomat, and then the Haitien Commissioner at 
the World's Columbian Exposition. Standing second to none in 
courage and abilities among Garrison, Sumner, Phillips, Ward, Payne, 
Rock and other brave and pure men and women in the anti-slavery 
conflict, how full his life! How completely rounded out! How inter- 
woven in the warp and woof of American history ! 

When any of the great questions involving his country's interest or 
his people's welfare had been spoken upon or written about, then what 
Douglass had to say was eagerly looked for, because he always said 
something that gave an old subject a new setting and threw upon a 
trite question a new light. 

His comprehensive scrutiny and logical expressions in brief and best 
English compelled the discerning mind, though prejudiced, to say: 
"We never saw it in that light before." Hence in written matter, or 
platform oratory, or in companionship, Frederick Douglass was never 
an occasional man; but ever graded, ever apt and ready, never disap- 
pointing those who heard him. Coming into his presence, his simple 
unassuming manner impressed you with the greatness of his character. 

His tenderness of heart, love of little children and of young people, 
high regard for women, with that broad sympathy for human sufferings, 
everywhere marked the trend of his great soul. "He regarded man as 
man and all men brothers. ' ' How befitting, therefore, it was for such a 
man to die on such an occasion, discussing with delight such a sub- 
ject ! One whose life devoted, as Mr. Douglass' has been, in conflict 
for manhood freedom, on what occasion and from what place more 
appropriate for such a soul to take its flight from labor to reward 
than from an assembly of the women of the world, who are striving for 
larger liberty, higher development of their sex in the interest of wife, 
mother, daughter, sister and the home. 

A great deal has been said and written about Mr. Douglass' religious 
convictions and of Frederick Douglass as a churchman. Wliat I .shall 
say briefly upon this subject will be what I have been told by Mr. 
Douglass himself. 

I first met Mr. Douglass at the home of my father in New Bedford, 
Mass., in 1862, since which time I have known him well. The Wash- 
ington Post, Thursday, February 21, said: "Freedom to Mr. Douglass 


meaut not only freedom of the person. He believed in and was a 
brilliant champion for the vast liberty of the soul." But let no young 
man or person in and love of sin by this fact be deceived 
and be led astray from light and from truth, following Mr. Douglass' 
example. Reflect that the liberty of soul which Mr. Douglass sought 
was not license, but spiritual liberty in a broader sense than he con- 
ceived it to be in the American Church. Frederick Douglass was a con- 
verted man. I heard him, last summer, tell the Methodist Conference, 
to which he was invited by Bishop Hurst, that "I remember the time 
when I bowed at the altar in a little Methodist Church that I now own, 
on Fell's Point, Baltimore; then and there I caught a stream of light 
and I have followed that light ever since. " 

Mr. Douglass broke with the American Church, and with American 
Christian dogma, when he saw it made to sanction, and defend the 
enslavement and bondage of a brother, with its horrible consequences. 
It was then that he had advanced beyond his country, and its church, 
to where Christ to him was larger than Creed, and his Christianity 
transcended his Churchianity. And from this point Mr. Douglass never 
retrograded, but he never ceased to reverence the God of humanity, as 
he saw God. 

In this terrific soul conflict, Mr. Douglass told me that he for a time 
blundered into bewilderment, but God .sent him deliverance. Last 
fall at the office of his son Lewis he explained this conflict to nie in a 
conversation on religion. The crisis was reached when the Fugitive 
Slave Bill became a law. The national domain became the enslavers' 
hunting ground, and any citizen liable to be made a slave catcher. He 
was then editor of the North Star at Rochester, N. Y. 

Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, coming to the city, called upon Mr. 
Douglass and inquired, "Mr. Douglass, how are you?" 

"I am all broken up; done with your church, your Christianity, and 
your hypocris)'. You have given your country over to slavery, and to 
slave catchers, and your church sanctions it, as authorized by the 

Mr. Douglass said: " Mr. Beecher sat down upon the head of a keg 
taking as his text, 'Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth!' — 
Rev. xix. 6. Upon this," he said, "Mr. Beecher for half an hour 
went into history, into science, reason and into Scripture truths, with 
other facts as only Mr. Beecher could. When I arose," said Mr. Doug- 
lass, "I arose a changed and delivered man. Now," said he, "I am 
in the trade winds of the Almighty. " 

Mr. Douglass has several times within a few months expressed to 
me the joy he experienced in God and in spiritual life. He was a 
constant worshiper here when weather and health permitted. He always 
called this his church and took deep interest in its welfare and in the 
affairs of the connection. He several times after listening to the sermon 
in the morning hour has grasped the minister's hand saying, "I have 


been greatly iustructed, edified and inspired this morning." Several 
times he told me how his soul had been thrilled by Dr. J. W. Beckett, 
when singing : 

"Jesus my Saviour, to Bethlehem, came, 
Born in a manger to sorrow and shame ; 
Oh it was wonderful! How can it be? 
Seeking for me, for me. ' ' 

Death has ended the career of the long and useful life of this great, 
good and unique man. We can't say of him as of Abner, that he has 
fallen, but that he has risen, in that to a greater extent, by his death, 
his true merits and character will be emulated. The hearts of the 
people will be cemented in closer bonds of sympathy for that, and for 
those for whom he so ably labored. 

Douglass, the Success, the Student, Worker, Philanthropist, Patriot 
and Leader was given us by God, and the Lord has taken him. 

"Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord; yea, saith the Spirit, 
that they may rest from their labors ; and their works do follow them. " 

On his return from the National Council of Women last Wednesday, 
February 20, the chariot of God met Mr. Douglass in the hallway of 
his home, when without a struggle, while in conversation with his 
beloved wife, the two alone, the spirit passed into the better land, in 
the seventy-eighth year of his age. 

On Wednesday, February 20, there was caused a great commotion in 
the Spirit World. There it was announced, "Frederick Douglass has 
come. ' ' There gathered about him among others, Peter Landy, William 
Lloyd Garrison, William Wilberforce, Daniel O'Connel, Owen Lovejoy, 
Garrett Smith, William C. Nell, Samuel R. Ward, John Brown, Lewis 
Hayden, Henry Highland Garnett, William Wells Brown, Charles 
Sumner, Abraham Lincoln, Wendell Phillips, Charles Sumner, John A. 
Andrews, Daniel A. Payne, with many heroes prominent in the anti- 
slavery conflict. 

Garrison and Brown inquired, "Well, Frederick, how is it in the 
world from which you just came? WTiat are the results of freedom 
for which we all struggled?" Douglass replied, "The victory has been 
achieved; slaves freed and enfranchised, and made citizens. They have 
schools, colleges, and great churches. Two millions of children in 
school, and sixty thousand teachers instructing them. They have their 
own press, paper and periodicals. They have able men and women in 
every trade, calling and profession. They have accumulated since 
freedom |;200, 000, 000, and my people are advancing along ever)' line 
and are rising generally. " 

The angels heard the tidings, took down their harps, and sang, 
"Alleluia, Alleluia, the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. " 

He leaves two sons, a daughter, grandchildren and a wife to mourn 
his loss. He leaves a race in grief, the world of mankind in respect 


and iu regret, but heaven and earth will unite in saying, "Well done, 
thou good and faithful servant ; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. ' ' 
Father, brother, leader, farewell ! Dear family, wife, sons, daughter, 
grandchildren and relations, we commend you to the God of all grace, 
in this your deepest sorrows. Be you assured that you will never cease 
to have the deepest sympathy and profound respect of a grateful 
humanity for whom your great head gave his life and best efforts. 

The Rev. Hugh T. Stevenson, pastor of the Baptist 
Church of Anacostia, D. C, followed Pastor Jenifer, and 
tendered these words in memory of Mr. Douglass : 

You will pardon me if I can not find words to express the feelings of 
my soul, for my heart beats in sympathy with yours at the realization 
of the sad fact that Frederick Douglass has gone. I shall never forget 
the scene that greeted me last Wednesday night, when I climbed Cedar 
Hill and beheld the noble form of the great man who had just fallen 
asleep. I could hardly realize that he was gone. Yes, be is gone. He 
heard his Master's voice calling him home to His mansion in the skies. 
His soul, that loved freedom, hastened to respond, and suddenly took 
its journey to the palace of his King, rejoicing as it burst the chains 
that bound him, for at last he was free. The price that Jesus paid had 
ransomed him, and with the imprint of his Saviour stamped upon his 
soul he entered the gates of paradise. 

We shall never see another like him. His life has passed into the 
world's history, which amid its records of men has none like that of the 
man whose encasketed form lies before us. For as Emerson says, "God 
once in a hundred years or .so creates a great man, and then breaks 
that mould forever. " Frederick Douglass was one of God's great men. 
Gifted with elements that would have made him a master in any walk 
of life, his work developed in him three prominent characteristics : 
breadth of sj^mpathy, dauntless courage, and oratorical power. 

Frederick Douglass was a prince among the orators of the world. 
He swayed men by the power of his eloquence. He moved them from 
their positions by the tide of his convictions. The eloquent tongue is 
silent. The great heart, which was the source of his power, has ceased 
its labor. The heart which beat in sympathy with all mankind, which 
felt for the oppressed not only of his own, but of every race and clime, 
which throbbed as never did a heart before in human breast for freedom, 
shall never beat again. The great soul, which with undaunted courage 
has faced death time and time again, in his struggles for freedom, 
justice and equity, has met death with the same courage in the hour of 
peace, leaving the smile of the conqueror behind upon his lips. "Oh 
death! where is thy sting? Oh grave! where is thy victory?" Let us 
give thanks unto God for the victory given through our Lord Jesus 


I shall leave it to others to paint the record of the heroic life which 
Frederick Douglass gave to the viforld. If I should paint it, I would take 
it from your hearts — but then, how poor would be the picture! Yet, 
you must tell the story ; you who have been side by side with him iu 
his conflicts on behalf of his people, you who have followed the leader- 
ship of this warrior of civil and religious liberty, amid the strife of 
agitation, the battling of the sword, and the conquests of peace; you 
who have received the word of cheer, the encouragement of hope, and 
the gift of love in your efforts to advance another round on the ladder 
of life, tell the world — you owe it to us — of his consecrated and concen- 
trated life as the apostle to humanity. 

You who have associated with him in the public arena of life, and 
have seen his love of justice, and heard his demands for "fair play" 
and honesty, as he toiled for the weal of his country, and the purity of 
her public life, have a duty to perform, for you must tell the story of 
his patriotism and faithful services to the land he loved, which gave 
him birth. 

If j'ou have enjoyed the friendship and had the privilege of seeing 
him in the sacred precincts of the home, tell of the man and the 
Christian, who in his love for the world, amid the great toils and cares 
which were his, gave the purest and best of his life to his family and 
friends. How I wish that some Boswell had followed him, and picked 
up the gems of purity and righteousness which dropped from his lips 
when he was alone with friends and family. But then, the pen of no 
man, much less his voice, could do him justice. No poet could to-day 
sing his true worth. We are too near to his life and times to do him 
justice. It will need the future as well as the present to judge him. 
When the youth of this and future generations read of his .struggles to 
break the fetters which bound his .soul in bondage, when they behold 
"his foot prints on the sands of time" and see him rise above every 
adverse wave and surmount every barrier to his onward progress, when 
they learn that "in spite of law and gospel, despite the statutes which 
thralled him, and the opportunities which jeered at him, he made 
himself by trampling on the law and breaking through the thick 
darkness that encompassed him," they, too, will be filled with the love 
for their fellows and be emancipators of men. His life, more eloquent 
than his silver tongue with its pathos and grandeur, pa.ssing through 
such vicissitudes of degradation and exaltation, will move men of all 
coming ages to be men. 

" 'In the world's broad field of battle, 
In the bivouac of life, ' 
To 'be not like dumb driven cattle, ' 
But ' be heroes in the strife. ' ' ' 

In the future, which I trust is not distant, when the mildewed lips 
of prejudice .shall be forever silent, when there will be no aspirants 


filled with em-y at the elevation of a brother, when man shall be judged 
by his character and achievements, then I believe, that men hearing of 
the burdens Frederick Douglass has lifted, of the crises he has bridged, 
of his great heart, of his dauntless courage, and his eloquent tongue — 
then — I believe thai he whom we mourn to-day as the leader of a great 
race will be written down as the greatest man of his times. 

A thousand years hence, the story of his life will be the subject of 
an epic that will be recited with increasing interest as time rolls 
on. moulding and developing the characters of the men of the coming 

Farewell, Frederick Douglass, farewell, till that fair morn of morns, 
when the disciples of Jesus, emancipated from the slavery of sin, shall 
gather at the marriage supper of the Lamb. In the words of Mary 
Lowe Dickinson, whose trumpet commands were inspired by your 
parting, I would cr\-: 

"Swing wide, O shining portal. 

That opes to God's new day: 
Make room, ye ranks immortal, 

A conqueror comes your way. 
With greetings meet for victors 

Your hearts and hands outreach ; 
Break, with glad song, his silence. 

Too deep and grand for speech. 

"Greet him with martial music 

That fits a soldier's rest;— 
For braver heart for battle 

Ne'er beat in warrior breast; 
A great white heart of pity ; 

At war with sin and gloom, — 
His home is with the heroes, 

Stand back — to give him room ! 

"Room for the stricken millions. 

Unbound by freedom's wars; 
To whom his strife meant light and life, 

And broken prison-bars; 
The love out-poured in prayers and tears 

Along the conqueror's track 
Is his spent love and life of years 

Bringing their blessing back. 

"To live — that freedom, truth and light 
Might never knov^ eclipse — 
To die, with woman's work and words 

Aglow upon his lips, — 
To face the foes of human kind 

Through years of wounds and scars, — 
It is enough; — lead on — to find 
Thy place amid the stars. ' ' 

Farewell, Frederick Douglass, my friend, farewell ! 

32 ]N MEMO RI AM. 

At the close of Dr. Stevenson's remarks the Rev. J. E. 
Rankin, D. D., President of Howard University, followed. 
He took as his text : 

Psalm cv. 17-19- " He sent a man before them. He 
■was sold for a servant. His feet they hurt with fetters. 
He was laid in chains of iron. Until the time that His 
word came to pass, the word of the Lord tried him." 

Dr. Rankin said : 

There is but one parallel to the life of Frederick Douglass, and this is 
found in the Bible; the Bible, which surpasses all other literature. 
There is no narrative which in natural pathos and eloquence so reminds 
rae of the history of the favorite son of Jacob as the storj- of Frederick 
Douglass. And I find God in one as much as the other. And I think 
of all the men in his generation, so momentous of great events, so influ- 
ential upon future humanity, no man is more to be congratulated — could 
human congratulations reach him — than this man who now sleeps in 
death's marble before us. God made him great; yes, but God also gave 
him a great opportunity, and that opportunity began when he was born 
a slave. 

I feel the pathos of it, in every fibre of my being, when this boy, 
without father, without mother, save as once or twice in his memorj' 
she walked twentj'-four miles, between sunset and sunrise, to give her 
son a few clandestine kisses — jes, without beginning of days, for Mr. 
Douglass never knew the day of his birth, was, in that prison-house 
of bondage, slowly emerging to consciousness of himself and to con- 
sciousness of his surroundings. But that was his schooling for years to 
come. It was the only way in which he could become a swift witness 
against the great wrong which was crushing the bodies and souls of 
millions. It was the secrets of that prison-house of despair which the 
world needed to know. And God had given him the tongue of the 
eloquent to tell them. Fascinating as is the masterpiece of Harriet 
Beecher Stowe, beautiful and touching as are the scenes depicted, 
dramatic as is the movement, powerful as are the delineations, we all 
know it is fiction. It is founded on fact. But this narrative is fact. 

KnA I say, that just as God sent Joseph down into Egypt preparatory 
to great events which were to follow; to save much people alive; just 
as His word tried him in the house of Potiphar and in the dungeons of 
Egypt, so it was with the boy, the young man Douglass. When he was 
praying there with Uncle Lawson, God was girding him for that day 
when he was to go from town to town, from State to State, a flaming 
herald of righteousness ; to cross oceans, to gain admission to palaces, 
lifting up the great clarion voice, which no one who ever heard can 
ever forget or forget its burden. So that I say Frederick Douglass was 


fortunate in the misfortune of his birth. If he had not been born of 
a slave mother, one potent factor in the great work put upon the men 
and women of his generation would have been wanting. God wanted 
a witness. After Dante wrote his "Inferno" the people of Florence 
said as he walked their streets, ' ' There goes the man who has been in 
hell ! ' ' What the cause of freedom wanted was a man who had been 
in hell ; in the hell of human slavery, an eye-witness of the dark possi- 
bilities and experiences of the system into which he was born ; who had 
felt the iron enter his own soul ; who knew what it was to be compelled 
to yearn in vain for mother-love ; to fight his way, inch by inch, into 
the simplest rudiments of human speech, of human knowledge, into 
any of the prerogatives of manhood. 

I do not at all underrate the work done by those magnificent cham- 
pions of freedom, who took this young man at twenty-five into the 
charmed coterie of their fearless eloquence; who gave him the baptism 
of their approval, who laid their hands upon his head, William Lloyd 
Garrison, Wendell Phillips and their associates. But they needed him 
as much as he needed them. After their cool and eloquent logic, after 
their studied irony and invective, which, mighty as it was, was wanting 
in the tremolo of the voice of one that has suffered, of one whose very 
modulations signified more than their words; when this man arose, as 
one rises from the dead, as the ghost of one, the crown and sceptre of 
whose manhood has been stolen away, while he goes from laud to land 
proclaiming the wrong and asking for justice, then the climax was 
reached. This man made the work of such men as Garrison and Phillips 
and Sumner and even Lincoln possible. I do not wish to use the lan- 
guage of exaggeration. It is not fitting the occasion. It is not in 
keeping with the dignified manner and methods of the man whom we 
commemorate, or the providential movement of which he was so long 
a part. But I believe that the birth of Frederick Douglass into slavery 
was the beginning of the end. And that this was just as needful to his 
anti-slavery associates as to himself. God planted a germ there, which 
was to burst the cruel system apart. It was as though he said, "Go to, 
ye wise men of the Great Republic ; ye Websters and Clays, miserable 
physicians are ye all. I will set this Samson of Freedom in your temple 
of Dagon, and his tawny arms shall yet tumble its columns about the 
ears of the worshipers. I will put the ark of my covenant in this man's 
soul, and the time .shall come when your idol-god shall lie toppled over 
upon his nose in his presence." 

I think that Frederick Douglass is to be congratulated on the kind 
of tuition that came to him — no, that God had provided for him, 
through these anti-slavery associates. They were regarded as the 
ofFscouring of the earth, and yet many of them received their culture in 
the choicest New England schools, and they sprang from the noblest 
New England stock. And when he went abroad it was his privilege 
to hear .such men as Cobden and Bright and Disraeli and O'Connell and 


Lord John Russell and Lord Brougham. These men Mr. Douglass 
studied, admired, analyzed. His more elaborate addresses, too, show 
the influence, of the first and greatest of New England orators, Daniel 
Webster. But, even beyond the great American orator, whose model 
orations are in all one's school books, was Mr. Douglass in fervor and 
fire. Ah, that was a day, when that runaway slave heard that great 
statesman at Buuker Hill. And he once told me that he owed a great 
debt to the poems of Whittier. To converse with Mr. Douglass, to hear 
him in public, one who knew his humble origin and limited oppor- 
tunities might well ask, "How knoweththis nian letters?" But, in the 
art of which he himself had such a master}-, he had the best teachers 
and examples the Anglo-Saxon schools could afford, while not one of the 
great men mentioned had such a theme as his. How carefully he im- 
proved his intercourse with such men, his observation of them, one has, 
only to read his life to discover. Howard University, I believe, gave 
this man the degree of doctor of laws, and there were some laws that no 
man knew better how to doctor than he. But there was not an official of 
the university who could reach high enough to put a wreath on his 
brow. It had to be done from above, by the winged genius of the 

Then in the third place, Mr. Douglass is to be congratulated on the 
•wonderful contrasts and antitheses of his life. If we go on in the 
Psalm from which I have quoted, we read: "The king sent and loosed 
him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free; he made him 
lord of his house and ruler of all his substance; to bind his princes at 
his pleasure and teach his senators wisdom." The king that loosed 
this man was the King of kings and not Pharaoh, even as of old, till 
after the Angel of War had smitten the first-born of the land. If we 
except this prime minister of Pharaoh, perhaps no man who ever lived 
ever had such extremes and vicissitudes of experience as Mr. Douglass. 
There is probably no civilized nation on earth that has not been made 
acquainted with his wonderful storj-. 

Perhaps he never saw a prouder day than when, as United States 
Marshal— an official once so offensive to the sensibilities of a free 
people, because of his participation in the arrest and return of fugitive 
slaves— he accompanied President-elect Garfield from the Senate cham- 
ber to the platform of the portico, where he took the oath of office and 
delivered the inaugural address. This was the man who ran away from 
the neighboring State of Maryland, whose territory was once the ground 
on which the Capitol stands; who had twice exiled himself from his 
native land to escape arrest, first as a fugitive slave, and then as in 
complicity with the John Brown conspiracy, whose friends had actually 
paid the sum of $ioo — I have this morning read the bill of sale again — 
to purchase his freedom from bondage, and who now acted as the rep- 
resentative of the United States in the moment of transition from the 
term of one President to that of another. 


And if we turn from his public to his private career, what more 
striking and unusual scene, save perhaps Joseph's forgiveness of liis 
brethren, ever was introduced into the lot of man than his visit to his 
old and dying master, so many years after his escape from bondage? 
Was there ever an experience more pathetic? Was there ever forgive- 
ness more generous? We pray, "forgive us our debts as we forgive our 
debtors. ' ' This our great Teacher has taught us. The spirit of for- 
giveness is the basis on which we stand before God, who has so much 
to forgive in us; is the spirit which fits us for the kingdom of heaven. 

I come now to the last ground on which I think Mr. Douglass should 
be congratulated. By many it would be thought of first. Mr. Douglass 
was fortunate in his endowments as an orator. Eloquence is virtue. 
This the Germans have taught us. That is, there must be virtuous char- 
acter, genuine truth and manliness behind all eloquent speech. A 
crafty, deceitful, dishonest, dishonorable man cannot be an eloquent 
one. He can deceive only the groundlings. His eloquence is all a sham 
and mockery. 

Mr. Douglass had a commanding figure, a commanding presence, a 
commanding voice. In all these there is leadership. There was some- 
thing more there. When he rose to his feet, when an audience saw that 
dignified and serious but kindly face, that venerable and seer-like 
aspect, when they heard that voice, it arrested attention and hushed 
everyone to silence and expectation. Utterance with him was the con- 
siderate and judicious gathering of great forces ; like the gathering of 
a storm in the sky; now and then a distant mutter, then the marshaling 
of the winds and the sweeping of the clouds across the horizon ; then 
the descending thunderbolt and the lightning flash; then the rolling 
back of the clouds as a curtain, the return of the sunshine and the song 
of birds and the laughter of children. Mr. Douglass" voice was of 
unequaled depth and volume and power. And back of all this was a 
great-hearted, generoup, forgiving natured soul, which feared not the 
face of man and believed in the living God. 

Mr. Douglass never lost his sense of the proportion of things; never 
was unduly elated by his successes and achievements. He was uncom- 
promising in his opinions and yet a patient waiter. He had a saga- 
cious, a long patience for the result. When a great man is gone for the 
first time we begin to see the space he filled, as though a mountain 
peak had been removed from our moral horizon. It will take a long 
time to measure the conservative and yet progressive influence of this 
great man ; for he was great, and great in the period of great men. He 
was greater than his eloquent speech ; he was greater than his life. 
If you write the history of the anti -slavery movement, he was great 
there; it centered in him and around him; of the civil war and the 
reconstruction period, he was a man to whom Presidents and Senators, 
to whom millions of eufranchised people looked for counsel. He taught 
the Senators wisdom. Shakespeare makes Marc Antony say over the 


form of the dead Caesar: "My heart is in the coffin there witli Caesar." 
I know what that means to-day. Mr. had (jualities that won 
the heart. No young man could know him without having for him a 
reverence that was filial. And wise will it be for the young men, whom 
he tenderly addressed as a father, if they heed his counsels, read his 
life, study his example, live as he lived. 

Mr. Douglass was a consistent man. He had no erratic moods or 
vagaries. There were men, great men, who drew away from Abraham 
Lincoln because, carrying upon his shoulders, like Atlas, this great 
American world, he seemed to move so slow. They were lighter loaded 
and could dance and cut capers along such a rugged pathway. But not 
Frederick Douglass. He saw where God was walking on that field and 
believed that Mr. Lincoln was walking with God. There were men, 
great men, who broke with President Grant. But not Frederick Doug- 
lass. He believed in the man who had fought the nation's battles 
through. And of Santo Domingo he said: "Since liberty and equality 
have become the law of the land I am for extending our dominion 
whenever and wherever such extension can peaceably and honorably be 
accomplished. " A wiser saying to-day than when it was uttered. 

If any man had a right to criticise and break down if he could the 
public policy of our great leaders and executives on the subject of 
human freedom it was Mr. Douglass. But he had not so learned the duty 
of a citizen, nor the art of statesmanship. It was his to suggest and 
counsel and then patiently wait. Lord Beaconsfield has said, ' ' Every- 
thing comes, if a man will onlj' wait," and Philip II., "Time and I any two, " and Mr. Douglass has quoted, if he did not originate, 
that greater proverb, "One with God is always a majority." In that 
majority he was contented. For he knew that in His own time God 
would show himself, moving on His great affairs. It was this that 
made all his methods noble. There was no meanness in this man. He 
did not conspire and intrigue and backbite and undermine. He was 
no such mole as that. He was always above the ground, always acting 
in the open day. He did not poison his weapons and give the thrust 
of the assassin. But, standing in God's light, he fought what he 
believed to be God's battles against principalities and powers, with the 
weapons of a man. He gave hard blows, but never hit below the belt. 

In his autobiography Mr. describes the anxiety with which 
millions watched the breaking of the day when President Lincoln had 
promised to let locse the thunderbolts of war again-st slavery, and give 
the watchword " Freedom for all" to our gallant soldiers in blue, to see 
if it would be done. True as the movement of the stars, the mandate 
came. No such watching was his, when a few days since he was 
delivered from the entanglements and infirmities of this mortal prison- 
house, somewhat shattered in its walls by seventy-seven years occu- 
pancy, where we all wait the emancipation act of our great captain, of 
Him who has broken through the bars of death, and brought light and 


immortality to light iu the gospel. The summons came as came the 
horsemen ami chariots of Israel to Elijah, straight from the excellent 
glory, and before we could say, "My Father" the splendiil retinue of 
heaven had returned with their delivered guest, leaving only dust and 

It was natural for Mr. Douglass to come back here to the bosom of 
the Methodist Church. Here he sat in that draped pew, as said Pro- 
fessor Shedd, after resigning his chair, "Getting ready to die, " saying 
to his old Mother-Church that all the past was forgiven, repeating in 
his heart the words of Ruth to her mother Naomi: "Thy people shall 
be my people and thy God my God, " hiding himself anew, as he used 
to sing in his Anacostia home, in the "Cleft of the Rock" that was 
.smitten on Calvary. She long ago had made him a preacher before he 
became an orator. This was the expectation and prayer of Uncle Law- 
son, while he was yet a slave. So that here, again, like a vessel that had 
made many a rough vo3-age, but now comes back to final anchorage, 
Mr. Douglass each Lord's day sat with his dearly cherished companion in 
this sanctuary of God. Call this man irreligious, an infidel? This 
man, whose foundations of truth and righteousness were established in 
God ! This man, with whom one with the form of the Son of Man had 
so often walked in a hotter than a Nebuchadnezzar furnace ! This 
man, with the spirit of God's kingdom, as the angels sang it, deep 
within him! Nay, call him father, brother, husband, friend! Have 
we forgotten the words of our Great Liberator in the synagogue of 
Nazareth? — "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because He hath 
sent me to preach deliverance to the captive. ' ' Have we forgotten the 
epithets that were thick in the air about our Master: "Beelzebub! He 
casteth out devils through the prince of the devils. " Gentle with a 
womanly gentleness, wise with a wisdom beyond that of the universi- 
ties, patient, long-suffering and kind, always ready to forgive, always 
ready with the word of cheer; this is the man we mourn! Lips from 
which have fallen such golden eloquence, eyes from which have flashed 
such radiance, heart with such great throbs of sympathy for all God's 
downtrodden ones, hands which were always open and outstretched 
toward the wretched; these were his; these belonged to that man whom 
we call Frederick Douglass. Through the changes of the greatest and 
most eventful period in American history, not once did he lose his 
footing; not once did he forfeit the companionship of our greatest ; 
aye, not once did he lose his hold upon God. 

Here is thy greatest son, my Maryland ! Rise up to greet him as he 
passes through ! Seventy-seven years ago thou gavest him the birth of 
the bondman; but thou hast lost him. The nation has claimed him — 
the wide world. Thou great Virginia planter, sleeping by the Potomac, 
let the river bear thee these tidings: "What thou didst with thy bond- 
men, we have done with ours." The tread of the soldier is around 
thy slumber no more. And thou, martyr-soul beneath God's throne, to 


whom w;is given to speak the fiat of freedom to millions of men, 
women and children whose lot was like this man's; who were thus 
"cabined, cribbed and confined," though God's image was in them, 
take this martyr-spirit to thy Celestial companionship. And thou, 
great Empire State, who gavest to this man a home, where he could 
earn his bread and rear his children, at a time when he had not where 
to lay his head, and by the flow of whose great river sleeps the dust of 
Freedom's greatest captain, take to thy central heart and bear on thy 
bosom, as the ages sweep more and more into the sunlight of the man 
Christ Jesus, the battle-scarred form of Frederick Douglass. Sleep, 
Freedom's herald in the land of the free bom! Thine exile is over. 
Thou art dowered with the freedom of the city of God. All Hail, and 
Farewell ! 

In response to a letter sent up by Mrs. Douglass, the 
program ■was enlarged to allo'w the participation therein by 
the sweet singer of the abolition cause, the one -who sang 
what Mr. Douglass talked as they traveled together holding 
meetings over this country and England, not only the last 
of the famous Hutchinson family of singers, but the last of 
the old guard which numbered Garrison, Sumner and 
Phillips in its ranks Notwithstanding his great age, Mr. 
John W. Hutchinson's voice was clear as he recalled his 
labors with Mr. Douglass, the New York riots, where 
Mr. Douglass and Ward, another ex-slave, faced the mob 
when they would not let a white man speak, and other 
stirring scenes. 

Mr. Hutchinson spoke as follows : 

Dear friends, our grief and sorrow to-day, on this solemn occasion, 
is assuaged and relieved by the knowledge of the great life and labors 
of the loving man and brother who has so suddenly closed his earthly 
career of earnest activities, and now lies a lifeless form before us. 
Though dead, his noble life speaks joy and comfort to all who knew 
him and sympathized in his labors of love and hope, and watched with 
pride his successes. 

As a prelude to the words which I am privileged to utter, I repeat the 
lines dedicated to him by my brother Jesse, more than fifty years ago: 

"I'll be free, I'll be free, and none shall confine 
With fetters and chains this free spirit of mine; 
From my youth I have vowed in my God to rely, 
And, despite the oppressor, gain freedom or die. 


Though my back is all torn by the merciless rod, 

Yet firm is my trust in the right arm of God. 

In His strength I'll go forth, and forever will be 

'Mong the hills of the North, where the bondman is free. 

New Kngland ! New England ! Thrice blessed and free ! 

The poor hunted slave finds a shelter in thee, 

Where no bloodthirsty hounds ever howl on his track ; 

At thy stern voice. New England, the monsters fall back ! 

Go back, then, ye bloodhounds, that howl on my path! 

In the laud of New England I'm free from your wrath; 

And the sons of the Pilgrims my deep scars shall see 

Till they cry with one voice, 'Let the Bondman go free!' " 

And so did the friends in New England extend the welcome hand. 
We loved him from his first coming among us, and as we listened to 
his story of wrongs, we allied ourselves more closely to the cause of the 
oppressed slave and espoused more earnestly the cause of emancipation. 
Thus the great work received a new impulse, and the little band of 
abolitionists labored on, singly and collectively, loving each other 
more, as the indignities of pro-slavery were heaped upon us; and so 
throughout evil report and good report, the battle for freedom was 
earnestly waged. 

Mr. Douglass was induced to take up his abode in Lynn, Mass. , and 
resided there for some years. He visited my father's home in Milford, 
N. H. , and we were enamored with his genial, loving nature. I named 
my first-born son after him. In a letter written a short time before 
he died, and intended as introductory to my forthcoming history and 
autobiography, Mr. Douglass said, ' ' I was permitted to hear the whole 
'tribe of Jesse' sing in their old family mansion, when thirteen of 
the family poured out their souls together in pious song, till it 
appeared as if the very roof were rising skyward. The scene of 
that hour has been present to me during all these fifty yeans, 
and I still recall it as one of the most sublime and glorious hours 
I ever experienced." In the year 1845 we sailed with Mr. Douglass, 
in the steamer ' ' Cambria, ' ' for England, where we enjoyed, on 
many occasions, the hospitalities of the people of Great Britain, 
and for more than a year exchanged friendships and received thank- 
fully cherished congratulations from true hearted friends in the 
Fatherland. We also often met Mr. Douglass in the course of our 
journeyings through the States and were most hospitably received in 
his adopted home in Rochester, N. Y. , and again we were, on 
many occasions, most royally entertained at his mansion at Cedar Hill, 
Anacostia, D. C. It was my privilege to be associated with him on 
many notable occasions at the "World's Fair, " where for .seven months 
he received the congratulations of multitudes of old and new friends. 
Thus for more than a half century have we been on intimate relations, 
and we did what we could to build up a public sentiment that made it 
possible for Abraham Lincoln, during the progress of the great conflict 


and war, to issue the proclamation that emancipated four millions of 
human beings. 

Mr. Douglass also espoused the cause of woman, and his last public 
effort was in her behalf. 

I could not stay away from these auspicious obsequies, but came from 
my home at High Rock, to extend my sympathies to the bereaved and 
to look once more upon this form, and commune with the beloved spirit 
of this Frederick the Great, and chant for him this requiem. 

Then raising his voice, impressive, loud and sweet, he 
half chanted, half sung the requiem of the dead : 

Close his eyes, his work is done, 

What to him is friend or foemau? 
Rise of moon, or set of sun, 

Hand of man, or kiss of woman ? 

Refrain : 

Lay him low, lay liim low. 

Under the clover or under the snow, 
How we loved him, none can know. 

Lay him low. 

As man may, he fought his fight. 

Proved his truth by his endeavor, 
Let his name in golden light. 

Live forever and forever. 

Great his love for human kind, 

Strong his faith in truth's promotion; 
In his teachings, gems we find. 

Beacon lights along life's ocean. 

Wreaths we bring that ne'er shall fade; 

Greener with the passing years ; 
Brighter for our error's shade; 

Jeweled with our falling tears. 

Pure the radiant path he trod. 

Conscious of the fount 'twas given ; 
His allotted years from God 

Are triumphs emphasized from Heaven. 
Bend in love, O azure sky ; 

Shine, O .stars, at evening time; 
Watch our Frederick calmly lie 

Clothed in faith and hope sublime. 


God of nations, bless the land 

Thou hast saved to houor Thee ! 
Guide us with Thy mighty hand, 

Till every nation shall be free ! 

We are almost home, almost home, 

Almost home to join the heavenly band. 
Come along, dear pilgrims, come along, 

The time is drawing nigh ; 
The angels stand ready to welcome you home. 
To join the hosts on high. 
Monsieur Nicolas, Secretary of the Haitien Legation, 
then expressed the regret and sj-mpathy of the Haitien 
Government on the death of Mr. Douglass, as follows : 

Le Gouveruement et le peuple haitiens out ^te p^niblement aflFectds 
par la nouvelle de la mort subite du venere Frederic Douglass. 

A cette triste cdremonie qui nous assemble ici et ou le peuple 
americain, en se decouvrant devant le cercueil de Monsieur Frederic 
Douglass, salue une grande intelligence dont les nobles qualitds ont 
impost le respect aux nations des deux continents, je renouvelle, au nom 
de la R6publique d'Haiti, ses temoinages d'estime et de profond regrets. 

Bishop A. W. Waynian, of the A. M. E. Church, then 
spoke in eloquent terms of the worth and greatness of Mr. 
Douglass, and was followed by the Rev. W. B. Der- 
rick, D. D., who spoke as follows : 

Frederick Douglass has accomplished more in his death than in his 
life. This sad and solemn occurrence has brought the American press, 
especially that portion of the press which is to be found in the civilized 
part of the country, to acknowledge, that it was not color, but fitness 
and character that made the man. The metropolitan press of the great 
city of New York, unanimously declared that Mr. Douglass was a fit 
example for all classes and conditions of people, be they black or white. 
Marvelous declaration. Nevertheless true. Is not this an evidence 
that the American conscience is right, provided it is properly aroused? 
As Israel, we mourn the loss of our Moses. God took him. 

I would rather occupy the place of a mourner in the pew than to 
attempt to have anything to say on this occasion. But having been 
requested, but a few moments ago, to take part in these ceremonies, I 
have consented, with no set speech, as a representative from the great 
State of New York, head of a delegation whose presence here to-day 
is to pay respect to this great man. When I say great State of New 
York I mean she is great, and may be rightly considered the sun in the 
solar system of States, around which revolve minor States, deriving 


commercial, financial, political and intellectual greatness from her. 
New York will gladly welcome all that is mortal of her adopted son, 
Frederick Douglass; and in her rich and prolific soil will give to his 
manly form a calm and silent repose. 

Although Mr. Douglass may not be considered by some to have been 
a master in the republic of letters, nevertheless it was he who fought 
and contended in those trying times, in those dark periods of the race's 
and country's hi,story, to make it possible for you, the young men 
present, and other young men, to become the masters of the three R's. 
His great labors and marvelous achievements in the defence of human 
rights will be remembered and appreciated. In those days when it 
tried men's souls, his voice was heard above the clamor, "There 
is light ahead." He was always cheerful, living in a state of 
bright expectancy, his confidence unshaken, in a Divine and Supreme 
Being, believing that the right would prevail sooner or later. 
It was he, who, with a few others, encouraged Mr. Lincoln to 
issue the Proclamation of Emancipation, the result of which was 
the freedom of the American negro. To him may be attributed 
the large number of colored soldiers and sailors who willingly went 
to the front and fought the battles of the Union. His clarion 
voice, his bewitching and enchanting eloquence incited them on. 
It was when the nation was tossed upon a sea of blood and war, and 
not a star appeared in the firmament, not an ark on the troubled 
waters, disaster after disaster perched upon the Union's banner, 
the Ship of State with the flag at half-mast, no one did more during 
those times of blood and carnage than he, by his stirring speeches and 
manly effort.s. He was and is to be considered one of the leading 
members of the great army of emancipators who have stamped their 
moral, social, intellectual and political personalities upon the hearts 
of the liberty-loving world. Although nearly all these champions and 
warriors are gone, having already joined the glorified host amid the 
throng of the spirits of just men made perfect (this galaxy of anti- 
slavery heroes), their deeds are inscribed in letters of fire in the blue 
arch of heaven: Garrison, Phillips, Giddings, Garrett Smith, Lucretia 
Mott, Wade, Lovejoy, Sumner, John Brown, Lincoln and Douglass. 
Claimed by both races, justly so, such as it ought to be. Yet we are 
proud of him and are not in any way ashamed of that part of him with 
which Africa is charged. No, no. Africa, land of precious memory; 
the land in which Abraham sojourned, Jacob lived and died, Joseph was 
exalted, Moses born; the country in which God furnished a garden .spot 
in which corn was raised to feed his starving Israel, and still more 
notable, it was here an asylum was furnished in which the child Jesus 
and His espoused parents were sheltered from the avenging hands of 
Herod. We are proud to own our Moses. 

Mr. Douglass was fortunate to have live<l to see his country free from 
the foul and infamous stain which had blotted the fair name of the 


American Republic and rendered it a hiss and a byword among the 
sisterhood of nations. He lived to see his countrj-'s press unmuzzled, 
the pulpit unshackled, the judiciary washed from the foul stain of 
Taney's infamous decision; yes, he lived to see the whip dropped 
from the hand of the overseer. The bloodhound no longer hunts the 
fugitive slave in the mangrove swamps of the Mississippi ; the hammer 
of the auctioneer of negroes struck for the last time on his platform, 
and its hateful sound has died into eternal silence. 

He lived to see the flag washed and cleansed, until to-day it is the 
gem among national emblems, until to-day the stars represent the stars 
of heaven, the blue the blue vaulted sky, the white the high and lofty 
Christian civilization, the red the blood of the various nationalities 
which were spilled upon the fields of carnage to maintain and uphold 
the principles of justice, equality and truth. Yes, he lived to see the 
slave pens abolished and in their stead planted the sctool houses; he 
lived to -see the auction blocks swept away and Christian pulpits planted 
in their places ; he lived to see the day when the barbarous and inhuman 
voice of overseer and auctioneer was hushed into eternal silence; and 
from the ice-bound coast of New England, across the tobacco fields of 
Maryland and Virginia, the rice and pine swamps of the Carolinas, the 
cotton patches of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas and 
Louisiana, the tread of the slave shall be heard no more. 

Wliat means this great outpouring to-day? This great throng speaks in 
mute language, symbolizing in letters A. P. G. , which when explained 
mean "American Prejudice Going." Wliat means this distinguished 
gathering, among which are to be found senators from the halls of 
Congress and judges from the Supreme Bench of the United States 
Judiciar)-, gentlemen who occupy high places in the list of fame? It 
is the strongest evidence of the high and .spotless character of him 
whom we mourn, our champion, our defender, our friend, our countrv'- 
man. He is not dead, he sleeps. When the historians shall write 
concerning the greatness of the nineteenth century, they will speak of 
Mr. Douglass, his virtues which the hard experiences of early life had 
strengthened in him; of his sincerity and simplicity; of his manly 
frankness and self-re.spect ; of his large, humane and tender sympathies ; 
of his self-control and good temper; of his truthfulness and sturdy 

Farewell, fearless defender, bold and courageous champion, manly 
man, true friend, peerless leader, farewell, farewell. 

Mr. Moses Hodges, of Boston, tlien sang Mendelssohn's 
" Oh, Rest in the Lord ; " after which Miss Susan B. 
Anthony read the following tribute from Elizabeth Cady 
Stanton, who was unable to be present ; as also the letter 
from Mr. Bonnev. 



Taking up the morning Tribune, the first words that caught my eye 
thrilled my very soul. "Frederick Doulgass is dead!" What vivid 
memories thick and fast flashed through my mind and held me spell- 
bound in contemplation of the long years since iirst we met. 

Trained in the severe school of slavery, I saw him first before a 
Boston audience, fresh from the land of bondage. He stood there like 
an African prince, conscious of his dignity and power, grand in his 
physical proportions, majestic in his wrath, as with keen wit, satire 
and indignation he portrayed the bitterness of slaverj-, the humiliation 
of subjection to those who in all human virtues and capacities were 
inferior to himself. His denunciation of our national crime,/4)f the 
wild aud guilty fantasy that men could hold property in man, '{)oured 
like a torrent that fairly made his hearers tremble. 

Thus I first saw him, and wondered as I listened that any mortal man 
should have ever tried to subjugate a being with such marvelous powers, 
such self-respect, such intense love of liberty. 

Around him sat the great anti-slavery orators of the day, watching 
his effect on that immense audience, completely magnetized with his 
eloquence, laughing and crying by turns with his rapid flights from 
pathos to humor. Ail other speakers seemed tame after Douglass. 
Sitting near, I heard Phillips say to Lydia Maria Child: "Verily, this 
boy, who has only just graduated from the 'southern institution' (as 
slavery was called), throws us all in the shade. " "Ah," she replied, 
"the iron has entered his soul and he knows the wrongs of slavery 
subjectively ; the rest of you speak only from an objective point of 
view. " 

He used to preach a sennon in imitation of the Methodist clergy, 
from the text, "Servants, Obey your Masters," which the people were 
never tired of hearing. Often after he had spoken an hour shouts 
would go up from all parts of the house, ' ' Now, Douglass, give us the 
sermon." Some of our literary critics pronounced that the best piece 
of satire in the English language. 

The last time I visited his home in Anacostia, I asked him if he 
ever had the sermon printed. He said "No. " "Could you reproduce 
it?" said I. He said, "No; I could not bring back theold feeling if I 
tried, and I would not if I could. The blessings of liberty I have so 
long enjoyed, and the many tender friendships I have with the Saxon 
race on both sides of the ocean, have taught me such sweet lessons of 
forgiveness that the painful memories of my early days are almost 
obliterated, and I would not recall them." 

As an orator, writer and editor, Douglass holds an honored place 
among the gifted men of his day. As a man of business and a public 
officer he has been pre-eminently successful ; honest and upright in all 
his dealings, he bears an enviable reputation. 


As a husband, father, neighbor and friend, in all social relations. 
he has been faithful and steadfast to the end. He was the only man I 
ever knew who understood the degradation of disfranchisement for 
women. Through all the long years of our struggle he has been a 
familiar figure on our platform, with always an inspiring word to say. 
In the very first convention he helped me to carry the resolution I had 
penned, demanding woman suffrage. 

Frederick Douglass is not dead! His grand character will long be 
an object lesson in our national history; his lofty sentiments of liberty, 
justice and equality, echoed on every platform over our broad land, 
must influence and inspire many coming generations! 

Ei,iz.\be;th Cady St.\nton, 
26 West vSixty-Crst street. New York. 

February 21, 1895. 


Dear Miss Anthony ; 

Other duties will prevent me from attending the funeral of Frederick 
Douglass, but I am glad to express, in compliance with your request, 
my high appreciation of his character and career. He was the most 
eminent representative of his race, and the most eloquent prophecy of 
the splendid civilization that is destined to fill all the Dark Continent 
with its light. 

Rising, through his own heroic efforts, from the condition of slavery 
to the lofty position of the acknowledged leadership of his race in the 
New World; and finally winning, by his ability, courage and high- 
minded course of action, the respect and admiration of those who were, 
at the outset, intensely hostile to his aspirations and claims, Frederick 
Douglass deserves to live in the hi.story of representative men as one of 
the noblest examples of the triumph of man over the most adverse 

1 therefore honor his memor\- and send you this tribute to his worth. 
With high respect and kind regards. 
Very sincerely yours, 

c. c. bonney. 
Miss Susan B. Anthony, 

Nalional Council of Women. 

Mrs. May Wright Sewell then .spoke, in substance, as 
follows : 

I experience a feeling of great diffidence in .standing before an audi- 
ence wherein are gathered so many of the early friends and so many of 


the later companions, if one may not say peers, of the man whose death 
we are met to mourn, whose career we are met to honor. The words 
written on one occasion by Daniel Webster, when he was asked to in- 
scribe his name in a book that held the autographs of many wise and 
great persons, force themselves upon my lips now: 

' ' If by this name I write my own 
'Twill take me where I am not known. 
The cold salute will meet my ear, 
'Pray, stranger, how did you come here?' " 

In answer to this inquiry, which I see upon the faces of many, I 
must say that I stand here by virtue of two claims. The first is small 
and personal. For many years, I have enjoyed the friendship of Fred- 
erick Douglass. The second is large and universal. I stand here sum- 
moned by the family of Frederick Douglass to speak for a constituency 
in which he believed. I come as the representative of the National 
Council, in which Frederick Douglass spent his last day on earth. 
What brought him to us in a business session was his sense of the soli- 
darity of human interests. As I saw him moving with the majesty of 
a king down the aisle, with every eye fixed upon him, I thought, 
"There moves a page of history, an epic poem, a tragedy:" (for there 
is no sublimity without the elements of tragedy). He seemed a mono- 
lith rising up to remind us of the past and to point us to the future. 

We never know in what field we shall reap. When Frederick Doug- 
lass began to sow for the freedom of one-half of one race, he little 
thought the harvest of that sowing was to be reaped in the freedom of 
the other half of two races; in the emancipation of women from fixed 
and false opinions. In every field where civilization is known, has 
been reaped a harvest from his sowing. 

Many times during these solemn services, Frederick Douglass has 
been referred to as the "hero of a race" with the evident restriction of 
the word "race" to the colored people. His record is a glory to the 
colored race, but it must not at this hour be forgotten that through his 
veins there flowed a mingled strain of blood. The white race as well 
as the black has been uplifted by his career. It is the whole race 
human, not the fractional race African, to which he belonged, and the 
annals of which will be illuminated by the splendid record of his life. 

I come to lay on the bier of him we love and honor a crown of laurel 
and palms. The laurel is from an old tree still standing on the estate 
on which he was bom. So one sees that before Frederick Douglass was 
born, in Maryland, a tree had been planted there which was destined 
ultimately to furnish forth his crown when his earthly warfare should 
end in victory. Can any of us doubt that, before he entered this plain 
of existence through the humble avenue of a slave mother, there was 
also planted a tree by the River of Life, which shall furnish forth 
leaves for his crown in the world that he has just entered? If we 


mourn because our little world is taade smaller by his departure, we 
also rejoice knowing that another world is made larger by his arrival. 

A letter was then read from Rev. Francis J. Grimke, D. D., 
who was unable to be present on account of the death of 
his mother. 

Rev. Anna Shaw offered the closing prayer, giving 
thanks that out of the infinite heart of love the world had 
been given " this peerless voice, this great heart, this loving 
and noble soul." 

Bishop Williams, of the C. M. E. Church, then pro- 
nounced the benediction. 

At the close of the services the remains of Mr. Douglass, 
under the escort of the active pall-bearers, detailed from 
the letter-carriers, were conveyed to the depot of the Balti- 
more and Potomac Railroad, and, with the family of the 
deceased, together with General John A. Eaton, ex-Com- 
missioner of Education, and Professor George W. Cook, 
delegates from Howard University, and Rev. J. I. Shelcutt, 
of the Asbury Methodist Church, were taken on the 
evening train to Rochester, N. Y., where they were re- 
ceived with civic honors ; and thus, crowned with years 
and laurels and usefulness and memories, of which the 
sweet overshadowed the bitter, Frederick Douglass passed 
out of the bondage of earthly existence, into the freedom 
of spiritual life. 


In Memoriam. 

Frederick Dougi.ass. 
The voice we loved is hushed, why should we weep ? 
For him who, full of honors and of years, 
Has drawn with feeble hands (made strong by death), 
The curtain hiding life ? There is no cause for tears ! 

Weep rather for ourselves, who, in this brazen age 
Filled with base ingrates, scorning Nature's plan, 
Will plead the cause he always loved so well, 
Of Justice, Freedom, Equal Rights of Man ? 

Robert Reyburn, M. D. 
Washington, D. C, February 22, 1S95. 

Frederick Douglass. 

Gone, at swift summons, to the Better Land ! 

Risen, like prophet of the Orient clime ! 
The fiery chariot could not, waiting, stand, 

And Azr.-iel's errand came in God's good time. 
The white locks rested as a glory crown 

Upon his noble head. Now, like a peal 
Of chiming sweetness, all the ages down 

Shall sound his voice, though death his lips may seal. 
Dead ! Is he dead, whose memory cannot die ? 

Whose life was one long effort to be free, 
Free as the truth makes free, with purposes high, 

As well as free from bonds of Slavery ! 
Servant of God, and Priest at Freedom's shrine ! 

Immortal life and pure renown are thine. 

Phebe h.. Hanaford. 
New York, February 26, 1S95. 



tRocbester, fl. 1^. 


Proceedings ok the Common Council of Rochester, 
N. Y., HELD February 23, 1895. 

Mayor's Office, 
RocHKSTER, N. Y., February 23, 1S95. 
Theodore S. Pulver, City Clerk. 

Sir: You wUl please call a special meeting of the Conimon Council for 
this Saturday afternoon, at 2.30 o'clock, to take such action as may be 
necessary aud appropriate in connection with the funeral of the Hon. 
Frederick Douglass, for many }-ears a respected resident of this city. 

Merton E. Lewis, 
Acting Mayor. 

Aldemian Merton E. Lewis, president of the board, in 
the chair. 

Present — Aldermen Caliban, McMillan, Green, x\dams, 
Edelman, Ashton, Dewey, Cook, Pauckner, Lewis and 
Harris — 11. 

Aldennan McMillan — 

Mr. President : I rise to a qnestion of privilege and 
beg leave to snbinit the following memorial and resolu- 
tions on the death of our former fellow townsman, the 
Honorable Frederick Douglass. 


At his residence in Washington, February 20, 1895, Frederick Douglass, 
a former resident of Rochester, died, and this Council have met this after- 
noon to honor his memory. 

Frederick Douglass was born in Tuckahoe, near Easton, Talbot County, 
Maryland, February 14, 1S17. His early boyhood was passed in slavery 
upon the plantation of Colonel Lloyd. When about nine years of age he 
learned to read and write ; September 3, 1838, he escaped from slavery 
and took up his residence in New Bedford, Mass., where he was first 


married. It was here be met and was assisted in his efforts to secure an 
education by William Lloyd Garrison. In 1841, Mr. Douglass made a 
speech at an anti-slavery convention at Nantucket which brought him 
before the attention of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, and this 
society at once employed him as one of its agents ; for them he lectured 
through New England for about four years, upon the subject which he 
was so eminently qualified by nature and experience to speak. So suc- 
cessful was he that in 1845 he made a tour of England, Scotland, Irelaud 
and Wales, receiving marked attention everywhere. Rochester was 
honored by his making it his home in 1847, and here he resided for the 
most part until 1870. 

When he first settled in Rochester he began the publication of a paper 
known as the North Star, an organ devoted to the abolition of slavery, 
and which he continued a greater part of the time until the emancipation 
of his race removed the for its existence. 

Mr. Douglass filled many positions of trust with eminent credit to him- 
self and his country. In 1871 he was appointed assist.Tnt secretary to the 
commission of Santo Domingo, and later by President Grant as a member 
of the Territorial Council of the District of Columbia. In 1872 he was 
elector-at-large for the State of New York and the messenger of the 
Electoral College. From 1876 to 1881 he was United States Marshal forthe 
District of Columbia, and Recorder of Deeds for that district from i88i to 
t886. But it was as an orator and author that Mr. Douglass was perhaps best 
known from the time when he fired the hearts and zeal of the New England 
abolitionists until his last public appearance a few years since. He was 
an orator whose oratory was spontaneous, natural and convincing, and the 
citizens of Rochester have not forgotten the occasions when he held, as if 
by magic, the large audiences which would congregate to hear him. As 
an author he achieved distinction by his works : " Narrative of My Expe- 
rience in Slavery," " My Bondage and My Freedom," published here in 
1855, and " Life and Times of Frederick Douglass." 

Rochester is proud that he was one of her sons and that he will rest in 
her beautiful city of the dead. 

In his life and life work, our youth can find much worthy of emula- 
tion, and its lesson to all cannot be lost. 

" Whoe'r amidst the sons 
Of reason, valor, liberty and virtue 
Displays distinguished merit, is a noble 
Of Nature's own creating." 

Resolved, That we do hereby tender to the family and relatives of 
Honorable Frederick Douglass our sympathy in their affliction, and that 
this memorial be spread upon the minutes of this Council, a copy of this 
memorial and these resolutions be sent to his family, and further 

Resolved, That the family of Mr. be requested to permit his 
body to lie in state in the City Hall on the day of the funeral, and further 


Resolved, That this Common Council altenil the funeral services in a 


Aldennan Pauckner moved that a committee of five 
members of the Council be appointed to make arrange- 
ments for the funeral of Mr. Douglass. Carried. 

The Chair appointed as such committee : Aldermen 
Pauckner, Adams, Ash ton, Green and Harris. 

On motion of Alderman Dewey the board then ad- 
journed. Theodore S. Pulver, Clerk. 

The Common Council and the friends of Mr. Douglass 
in that city united in a public funeral, as a tribute of 
respect to his memory, held February 25, 1895. The 
whole city was in mourning. From the public buildings 
and from many places of business flags floated at half-mast. 
All of the public schools were closed, and the pupils, in 
charge of teachers, joined in the exercises of the day, and 
thus became a part in this historic event. 

Aldermen Adams and Asliton joined the funeral cor- 
tege at Canandaigua. With every token of love and sad 
respect, Rochester received the mortal remains of her 
former citizen and the world's friend. Often, in the earlier 
times, had Frederick Doxiglass moved about the streets 
and in and out of the city, to ordinar}- comprehension 
a presuming, illogical fanatic, bent on his Quixotic errand ; 
to the divinely seeing, out of the many called, one of the 
few chosen. To-day, though dead, he had returned a 
victor, bringing his sheaves with him ; for he had fought 
the good fight, and finished the course. The draped 
banner, the tearful faces, were a living response to the 
pleas his burning zeal had urged, and for which his mute 
lips now made their final appeal. They were witnesses, 
not only of a last sad welcome, but of the coming of the 
clearer vision, to bring which had been the travail of his 
soul, and for which he had lived and died. Solemnly and 


slowly the heavily draped hearse, followed by the Fifty- 
fourth Regiment Band, a platoon of police, the Douglass 
League, the Mayor, members of the City Council, and 
other city officials, honorary and active bearers, and the 
family and friends of the deceased, passed on through the 
lines of uncovered heads. Beautiful floral tributes lay 
upon the casket, which was borne to the City Hall, where, 
under a guard of honor, it lay in state until two o'clock in 
the afternoon, the hour of the funeral. The decorations of 
the City Hall were beautiful and elaborate. From the 
tower floated the United States flag at half-mast. The 
portico of the main entrance was heavily draped. The sides 
and ceiling of the main corridor were nearly hidden 
beneath flags, and black and white bunting hung from the 
ceiling, converged to a point above the catafalque in the 
centre of the room. Beneath the chandelier and over 
the casket the American eagle held by its beak the 
Stars and Stripes draped in black, and flags draped the 
entrances to the Mayor's and other oflfices. To the palms 
and tropical plants in profusion, which lent their beauty 
and suggestions to the scene, was added a beautiful floral 
tribute from the colored people of Boston, representing in 
miniature Bunker Hill Monument, at whose base Frederick 
Douglass stood entranced at Webster's noble periods in his 
address at the unveiling of that monument. To-day no 
voice was needed to intensify the eloquence of the scene. 
The mute lips of death told their own message, as, in 
a continuous procession, from all the avenues leading to 
the City Hall ; from the suburbs ; from the country towns ; 
from Syracuse; from Buffalo and Boston, came, in unbroken 
line, to pause a moment at his bier, those to whom the life 
now ended had stood in the past, and would stand in the 
future, unfalteringly, for an idea, a principle. 

Thus Rochester received her dead, and publicly em- 
phasized her recognition of the heroic qualities of Frederick 


Douglass, his moral worth and the principles for which he 
lived and died. 

Again the solemn notes of the Rineral march; the draped 
colors ; the reversed amis ; the slowly moving hearse ; the 
thronging populace with uncovered head ; and the Central 
Church, before which, for an hour, the people had been 
waiting in line for admittance, opened its doors, and in a 
profound silence, broken only by the deep tones of the 
organ pealing forth Chopin's Funeral March, the casket 
was reverently borne down the aisle and deposited in front 
of the altar. Above the pulpit were draped large flags 
hung with mourning, and floral decorations filled the front 
of the platform upon which were seated Rev. Dr. H. H. 
Stebbins, of the Central Church ; Rev. Dr. William R. 
Taylor, of the Brick Church ; Rev. Dr. J. P. vSankey, of 
the United Presbyterian Church ; Rev. H. Clay Peebles, 
of the Park Avenue Baptist Church; Rev. Dr. W. C. 
Gannett, of the Unitarian Church ; Rev. G. W. Peck, of 
the North Presbyterian Church ; Rev. Wesley Ely, of Zion 
Methodist Church ; Rev. Dr. J. H. Mason, Presiding Elder 
of the A. M. E. Church of the district ; Mr. Sherman D. 
Richardson, Miss Mary Anthony, Mayor Lewis and the 
Aldermanic Committee consisting of Messrs. Pauckner, 
Harris, Ashton, Adams and Green, and Mr. Cleary, Super- 
intendent of Police. Five hundred seats in the centre of 
the church had been reserved and were occupied by the 
family and friends, the bearers, officials and organizations. 

The solemn hush that pervaded the assembly was broken 
by the rich voices of the male quartette of the Central 
Church, in " Remember Now Thy Creator," after which 
the Rev. William R. Taylor, of the Brick Church, offered 
the following invocation : 

Unto Thee, O Lord, do we lift up our souls. 

We are in the presence of a dread reality and a solemn mystery — the 
reality and mysterj- of death. 


But we are also face to face with a greater reality and a greater mystery 
— the reality and the mystery of a human life that was full of divine 
goodness, divine feeling and divine power. 

Only Thou dost still continue to make men and women in Thine own 
image, and share with them Thine own divine nature; only Thou 
who, by Thy Providence, dost rule in their affairs, bringing liberty 
and peace out of their bloody conflicts, and a higher righteousness from 
their very sins ; only Thou who didst kindle a divine fire within the soul 
of this man, whose mortal body we are this day to bury in the earth, 
who didst give him his great heart and eloquent tongue, and didst 
make him a power in the stirring and eventful period in which Thou 
didst cast his lot; only Thou couldst teach us the lesson of his life, and 
through it fit us the better to serve Thee and our fellow men. 

We therefore entreat Thee for the influence of Thy Holy Spirit upon 
our spirits, that we may see Thee and recognize the solemn realities, 
the noble opportunities and the unescapable responsibilities of our 

Forgive and cleanse us. Set us free from every form of bondage ; 
teach us, lead us, help us, inspire us, and save us through Him who 
hath taught us to pray saying: 

"Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy 
kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give 
us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our 
debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil : 
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. 
Amen. ' ' 

Rev. Dr. We.sley A. Ely, of the Zion Methodist Church, 
Rochester, then read the following selections of Scripture : 

Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. 

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed 
the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou 
art God. 

Thou turnest man to destruction ; and sayest, Return, ye children of 

For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is 
past, and as a watch in the night. 

Thou carriest them away as with a flood ; they are as a sleep ; in the 
morning they are like grass which groweth up. 

In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is 
cut down, and withereth. 

For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we 

Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light 
of thy countenance. 


For all our da3-s are passed a%vay in thy wrath : we spend our years 
as a tale that is told. 

The daj'sof our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason 
of strength may be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor 
and sorrow ; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. 

Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy 
fear, so is thy wrath. 

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto 

Return, O Lord, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy 

O satisfy us early with thy mercy; tliat we may be glad and rejoice 
all our days. 

Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, 
and the years wherein we have seen evil. 

Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their 

And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us : and establish 
thou the work of our hands upon us ; yea, the work of our hands 
establish thou it. — Psalm xc. 

There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and 
another glory of the stars; for one star difl'ereth from another .star in 

So also is the resuiTection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it 
is raised in incorruption : 

It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory : it is sown in weakness, 
it is raised in power : 

It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body There 
is a natural body and there is a spiritual body. 

And so it is written: The first man Adam, was made a living soul ; 
the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 

Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is 
natural ; and afterward that which is spiritual. 

The first man is of the earth, earthy : the second man is the Lord 
from heaven. 

As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy : and as is the 
heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 

And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear 
the image of the heavenly. 

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the 
kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 

Behold, I shew you a mystery ; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all 
be changed. 

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the 
trumpet shall .sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we 
shall be changed. 


For this corruptible must put ou incorrujitit)]], and this mortal must 
put on immortality. 

So when this corrxiptible shall have put on incorrupt ion, and this 
mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the 
saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 

The stiug of death is sin ; and the strength of sin is the law. 

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victorj- through our 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always 
abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know tliat your 
labor is not in vain in the Lord. — / Coriiii/u'ans .rv. 41-sS. 

The Scripture reading was followed by an adaptation of 
the hymn, "Hide Thou Me," sung by Mr. George W. 
Walton, of the Central Church Quartette. 

In Thy cleft, O Rock of Ages, 

Hide Thou me; 
When the fitful tempest rages, 
Hide Thou me. 
Wliere no mortal arm can sever 
From my heart Thy love forever, 
Hide me, O Thou Rock of Ages, 
Safe in Thee. 

From the snares of sinful pleasure, 

Hide Thou me; 
Thou, my soul's eternal treasure. 
Hide Thou me. 
When the world its power is wielding. 
And my heart is almost yielding. 
Hide me, O Thou Rock of Ages, 
Safe in Thee. 

In the lonely night of sorrow, 

Hide Thou me; 
Till in glory dawns the morrow, 
Hide Thou me. 
In the sight of Jordan's billow. 
Let Thy bosom be my pillow- 
Hide me, O Thou Rock of Ages, 
Safe in Thee. 


The following original poem was read by the author, 
Mr. Sherman D. Richardson : 


I saw the slave of Maryland 

Upon the soil of freeilom stand. 

The waves that once the Mayflower bore, 

Were dashing on New England's shore. 

The Stars and Stripes showed Northern will 

On breezes from old Bunker Hill; 

And, as he drank in liberty, 

I saw the man from serfdom free. 

I saw him like a monarch stand 
With Lincoln's edict in his hand; 
With lips infused from heaven's fire. 
With thoughts that would all time inspire, 
Transfigured on Columbia's sod; 
\ living type from Freedom's God; 
Incarnate soul of Liberty 
He stood. A race and land were free. 

I saw again God's pioneer 

In grand repose upon his bier. 

The lines that showed the reaper's path 

Were softened with Death's aftermath. 

But yet that face more grandly taught 

Of will and power, of battles fought, 

Of victories won for Liberty ; 

The crown, at last ; the soul was free. 

Miss Mary Anthony, representing the great body of 
women with whose efforts toward establishing a universal 
nobler womanhood, Mr. Douglass had always been in close 
sympathy, made the following address : 

It is so seldom that any person, man or woman, bom amidst the most 
unfavorable surroundings, making a life work of the most unpopular 
subjects, lives, as did this husband and father, to see the world come 
to recognize the beautiful precepts of the brotherhood of man, that the 
most hopeful and best word one can say, is. Thank God and take 
courage ! 

When we think of the first years of his life in our midst, and com- 
pare them with the last visit he made here, with the Presidential party 
of Harrison, to take part in the dedication of the Soldiers' Monument, 


and his being one of the honored guests at the Cottage Banquet at 
Ontario Beach, we may well exclaim, "The world does move!" 

The struggles and trials, and they were legion, which Frederick 
Douglass endured for seventy-eight years, are to-day crystallized into a 
grand prophecy, of which this hour is the beginning of the fulfillment. 

The appreciation and love which we, the women of Rochester, bear 
toward our friend and co-worker, cannot be better expressed than by 
reading the resolutions passed at the meeting of the National Council 
of Women, in Washington. 

Miss Anthony then read the Memorial adopted by the 
Woman's National Conference at Washington, on the 
death of Mr. Douglass. [See page 95.] 

The following hymn, " Lead, Kindly Light," was suug 
in an impressive manner by the Quartette : 

Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom, 

Lead Thou me on ; 
The night is dark, and I am far from home, 

Lead Thou me on. 
Keep Thou my feet ; I do not ask to see 
The distant scene; one step's enough for uie. 

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still 

Will lead me on 
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till 

The night is gone. 
And with the mom those angel faces smile, 
Which I have loved long since, and lost a while. 

The Rev. W. C. Gannett, of the First Universalist 
Church, of Rochester, then delivered the following address : 

It is an impressive moment in our city's history. There was a man 
who, when a fellow-citizen among us, lived in one of the humbler 
houses of the city; a man whose race debarred him from reception in 
its wealthy mansions; a man whose color exposed him to insult on the 
streets. This man has come home to us to-da}-. Three years ago he 
came surrounded by a Presidential company, but then the greeting to 
him lost itself in that given to the magnates of the land. To-day he 
comes alone, alone, though guarded by the little circle of his best 
beloved. The greeting now is all bis own. For once he has been wel- 
comed for himself, and in the impressive manner. Our city went 


forth to meet him at its gates. Our mayor and other official representa- 
tives counseled together to show him honor due. As he passed along our 
streets, the citizens have paused with lifted hat. In our Cit)' Hall he 
has lain in state, and the very children of our schools have been dis- 
missed that they may be able to tell their children, "We looked upon 
the face of Frederick Douglass." And now at this very hour of 
the day the people have gathered here to do him honor by at least their 
silent presence around his silent form. 

What does such a demonstration mean ? It has a two-fold significance, 
both personal and impersonal. It is, first, a personal tribute. A per- 
sonal tribute to a public officer? To the orator who held great audiences 
in the spell of eloquence? Yes: but more than this, it is a tribute to 
a man. A man, who, under God, made himself. America is called 
the land of opportunity; but for this man at his beginning it was the 
land of infinite obstacle. Out of appalling obstacles he had to car\e 
his opportunities. Could a future look more unpromising than tliat 
which opened upon Frederick Douglass at his birth? Nature granted 
him the birth ; the institutions of our country granted him a nameless 
father and almost denied him mother. He was born in a slave-cabin 
of Maryland some fourteen years before Garrison's "Liberator," with 
its watchword of Emancipation, was born in the Boston garret. You 
know what the South was in those years; how the black man there was 
the white man's chattel, his more intelligent and, by that, more dan- 
gerous brute; how the laws of a Southern State were links of a chain to 
hold him safely fastened to the ground; how it was crime for a slave to 
learn to read, and a crime unto death for a slave to lift his hand against 
a white man. You know what the public opinion of the North con- 
cerning slavery was in those years; how at its best it was indifference 
and acquiescence, readier to change to anger than to sympathy as the 
solitary protests began to rise; and you know how the North was by the 
Constitution pledged to send the fleeing slave, on a master's claim, 
back to his southern hell. It was in that time, it was to that lot, that 
this man, lying here in honor now, was born. 

What was his training? A kind mistress and hard masters were his 
trainers. The mistress in her innocence taught him the A B C. The 
masters gave the lash. That combination of lash and letters made him 
the Frederick Douglass he became. Would you know more of his 
schooling, read the chapter in his autobiography called "My Last 
Flogging," — the story of a two hours' combat between the sixteen 
years' old slave boy and the white master. The boy came off the 
unflogged victor. Those two hours, he says, were the turning point in 
his life. At their end he was still a slave in body, but a freeman in 
his soul. "I was nothing before: I was a man now." 

Already the hope of liberty was burning in his breast. Five years 
more it burned in him, till at last came the escape. Three years he 
carried the hod and rolled the oil-casks on New Bedford wharves, and 


then came the Nantucket speech. Lord Byron wrote a book, went to 
bed, and woke up famous, it is said. Frederick, the fugitive slave, 
went to an anti-slaverj- meeting on a little island off the New England 
coast, made a speech, and sat down famous. An orator had been dis- 
covered! From that time on his fame increased. It quickly reached 
across the water. It was yours to watch it grow ; for before long he 
had come here to live his quiet life among you, — to edit his paper, 
speed on black fugitives to liberty, go about the country roads on 
rounds of anti-slavery lecturing, now and then to face a mob some- 
where, now and then to electrify some city audience. One of the 
minutemen in the long, slow emancipation rally of the North. Through 
it all a man, self-making, adding cubits to his inner stature. 

Meanwhile, history was also making. In our great central valley the 
rivers, run they east or run they west, all run into one, the Mississippi. 
So for forty years before the war the streams of national life, whatever 
they were called in shifting politics, were really running into one, — 
the great dark stream of slavery. The war at last began. The war at last 
was over, and the country still was one, but slavery was no more. And 
then for Frederick Douglass, also, America became the land of oppor- 
tunity. Thenceforth he was by law, at least, the equal of every other 
in the land. Honors and trusts began to seek him. The State of New 
York made him elector-at-large to choose the President. He was made 
Marshal for the District of Columbia. He was made Minister of the 
United States to Haiti. Though not himself a soldier of the war, few 
but the greatest of its leaders were better known than he. In a sense 
all his own he .stood, a clear-cut silhouette, against the background of 
the nation's history. 

So to this man, under God self-made, we render tribute here. Tribute 
also to the man magnanimous. For to the last, when all is said, there 
was a chronic insult waiting him. And Douglass' soul was as sensitive to 
insult as his back had once been to the lash. It lurked in a street-boy's 
epithet, it broke forth in a newspaper, it met him on the cars, at any 
moment in society it might surprise him. And he matched the chronic 
insult with a chronic forgiveness. America has been, indeed, is still, 
the black man's land of opportunity for that, — forgiveness! The charity 
in his heart ennobled more and more the face, mellowed more and more 
the manner, until he walked among us visibly distinguished, one of 
the nation's loftier gentlemen. 

But the full significance of this hour is more than personal. As we 
think of Frederick Douglass, we see a race behind him; his name 
becomes transfigured, representative, impersonal. In honoring him here 
we render ever tardy gratitude and honor to his people. This large 
mind, this larger heart, this royal manner, bid us remember that the 
spirit knows no color; that man is man not by the lightness or the 
darkness of the face, but by the worth of soul. Do we talk of equality? 
Here, if we are to draw compari.son, is a fact not of equality, but of 


shining superiority to most of us. Give the fact full weight against the 
ancient and still current prejudice. Judge a race, like a man or a 
poem, by the best lines in it. Let Douglass stand as type. 

Few persons in our little city are famous through our State; very few 
grow famous through America ; but when this man died last week, the 
journals of two continents printed editorials about him. So far as world- 
fame is concerned, he is one of two who, a generation hence, are likely 
to be remembered as Rochester's "First Citizens, "—in the sense in 
which the poet Bryant bore that title in the city of New York. And — 
be the law' of after-fame remembered — if such title come to them, each 
of our two earned it amid ridicule and contumely, and each one as a 
helper in the emancipation of bondmen and bondwomen. "The things 
of a man for which we visit him were done in the dark and the cold, ' ' 
sa3-s Emerson. 

We have as yet but one bronze monument upon the squares of 
Rochester. Shall the next one be the monument of Frederick Douglass, 
ex-slave and orator of anti-slavery? If the wish be realized, the monu- 
ment will stand, as Lincoln's yonder stands, no mere memorial of a 
man. A great man is ever greater as a symbol than as an individual ; his 
name suggests a movement, an endeavor, an achievement, of his age. 
Lincoln, there in bronze, embodies the struggle for the Union ; the 
soldier and the sailor at his feet are the people offering life to keep the 
nation one. Douglass in his bronze would represent the same great 
struggle, but in an even more pathetic form ; for he would be the symbol 
of the struggle in its cause, — that cause, the nation's crime against the 
black man. In him the actual victim would be pedestaled, — the man who 
had been born the slave, whose back had felt the lash, whose lifetime 
spanned the period from the first stir of the people's conscience in a 
few "fanatics" to the doom which crashed upon the guilty land, and 
the great Hallelujahs of emancipation and release which closed the war. 

When inscriptions shall be sought for such a monument, let* six 
words, traced to Douglass' own lips as their apparent source, be graven 
on it: "One with God is a majority." Words fit for church-walls or 
for Bible pages. Words to warn all prospering plotters of a wrong, to 
hearten all forlorn hopes and strengthen all reformers. ' ' One with God 
is a majority. ' ' 

The lips that said the words are silent now, — are silent here before 
us. Our citizen has come home to us once more. We give the stately 
fonn its burial in our Mount of Hope. "His soul is marching on!" 

After the singing, by the Quartette, of the following 
hymn : 

They are gathering home from every land. 

One by one! One by one! 
As their weary feet touch the shining strand, 
Yes, one bv one, one bv one. 


They rest with the Saviour, they wait their crown ; 
Their travel- stained garments are all laid down; 
They wait the white raiment the Lord shall prepare 
For all who the glory with Him shall share. 

Gathering home ! Gathering home! 
Fording the river one by one! 
Gathering home I gathering home, 
Yes, one by one ! 

Before they rest they pass through the strife. 

One by one! One by one! 
Through the waters of death they enter life, 

Yes, one by one ! 
To some are the floods of the river still, 
As they ford on their way to the heavenly hill ; 
The waves, to others, run fiercely wild. 
Yet they reach the home of the undefiled. 

Gathering home! Gathering home! 
Fording the river, one by one! 
Gathering home! Gathering home! 
Yes, one by one. 

The final prayer and benediction was pronounced by Rev. 
Dr. H. H. Stebbins, of the Central Church, Rochester. He 

Almighty God, who hast been our dwelling place in all generations, 
in whose hand are our times, who hast appointed the bound of our 
habitation, we are here reverently and humbly to worship Thee, to 
acknowledge the benefits with which every day is loaded, to confess 
our manifold unworthiness, to .supplicate Thy continued favor, and 
especially to bow submissively before that Divine decree that has 
removed from our nation one of its most distinguished citizens. 

We bless Thee for the man. We bless Thee that above the color of 
his face and the bondage of his earlier years, that with such scant 
opportunity, that throughout the severe hardship, extreme peril, the 
violent prejudice and the bitter persecution, to which he was exposed, 
he was, and remained, the man. 

We bless Thee for the divinely implanted instinct of freedom that 
could never essentially make him a slave to any man. We bless Thee 
for the character he developed; for his steadfast devotion to his race; 
for the great ideas that stirred him; for the honest heart, out of the 
abundance of which he spake; for his fidelity to conviction; for his 
steadfastness, and for his ready and active sympathy. And we blesis 
Thee for the effective pen and the eloquent tongue that gave such 


brave expression to what was in him. We bless Thee, most of all, for 
his faith in God, a faith wrought by love, that purified the heart, and 
that stimulated to manifold endeavor. We bless Thee that between the 
birth of the man and the death of the man, there lie so many fruitful 
years. We bless Thee for the brave fight he fought, for the course he 
so nobly finished, and for the faith he kept. Surely a crown of life 
has beeu awaiting him, and now he wears it. 

Surely he has been welcomed into the higher life, with the greeting, 
"Well done, good and faithful servant. " We would add our tribute of 
respect and gratitude, and admiration and affection. We bless Thee 
that so much of the good that men do lives after them, and that he, 
whose mortal remains lie before us, being dead, yet speaketh. Help 
us to hear and to heed the lesson his notable life teaches. Let our 
admiration inspire imitation, make us better men, men of God, men 
of faith, men of action, truer to conviction, more ready to do and to 
dare, for God and man, for country and world. 

Apply Thy balm of consolation to the wife and family of Thy deceased 
servant. Comfort all who mourn over this event. We thank Thee for 
the safe conduct, thus far, of these precious remains. Attend them to 
the resting place, where we shall gratefully and sacredly cherish them. 
Bless our city. Into our municipal life may there enter such laws and 
such administration as shall make us an upright, happy, contented and 
united communit}-. Bless our beloved land. Bless our President and 
his immediate advisers; our Congress, the governors of our States, the 
judges of our courts, and all who bear any authority. Help us, stimu- 
lated by the lives of worthy citizens who have gone to their reward, to 
cultivate the righteousness that exalteth a nation. Bless all lauds and 
all peoples that on earth do dwell. May governments become more lib- 
eral ! May God be universally acknowledged as Father, and may all 
men live together as brethren ! 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, and the 
communion of the Hoi}' Spirit, be with us all. Amen. 

At the close of impressive services, as the funeral 
cortege was leaving the church, Beethoven's Maicia 
Fiincbrc was played. At Mount Hope Chapel there was 
also a brief service, consisting of a prayer b)- the Rev. W. 
R. Taylor, of the Brick Presbyterian Church, a reading of 
selection of Scripture, and the singing, by the Central 
Church male quartette, of the " Hymn of Parting." 

Sleep on, beloved, sleep, and take thy rest ; 

Lay down thy head upon the Saviour's breast; 

We love thee well, but Jesus loves thee best, — 
Good Night! Good Night! 


Calm is thy slumber as an infant's sleep; 
But thou shalt wake no more to toil and weep ; 
Thine is a perfect rest, secure and deep, — 
Good Night! Good Night! 

Until the shadows from this earth are cast, 
Until He gathers in his sheaves at last, 
Until the twilight gloom be overpast, — 
Good Night! Good Night! 

Until we meet again, before His throne, 
Clothed in the spotless robe He gives His own, 
Until we know, even as we are known — 
Good Night! Good Night! 

In the beautiful cemetery of Mount Hope, Rochester, 
N. Y., repose the mortal remains of Frederick Douglass. 

Well named Mount Hope ! And here thy ashes rest, 

And here is gathered to thy peaceful breast, 

The calm repose that Nature gives her own. 

'Tis thine at last. Sleep on, beloved ! Sleep on ! 

Thy great heart bore one race's woe, another's shame! 

It scorned not aught but violence and wrong. 

But clasped within its patient tenderness. 

All, whom the Father's likeness spoke His own. 

O Titan soul ! The scorn, the hate 
Of souls so little they could never guess 
The glorious freedom of thy spirit's realm, 
Are lost in utter worthlessness. 

Whilst thou, blest soul ! whom ignominy could not reach, 
Freed from the sorrow of beholding littleness. 
Art one in rapturous glory with the mighty ones, — 
The Almighty's primal messengers of love to man: 

And in the Hallelujahs of thy song 
Stirred with a deeper note of thankfulness, 
The paeans of the ages yet to be. 
Tremblingly swell the eternal harmony. 

XTenber Morbs 


%ovinQ Ibearts. 


Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, 

Februarj' 21, 1S95. 
My dear Mrs. Douglass : 

How shall I write to you, in view of tliis deep sorrow? I know not 
what words can convey all I feel, — but you will understand better than 
any expression of mine, the sympathy I feel for your very sudden bereave- 
ment. Truly, stroke after stroke has come upon you, lately. 

I share very deeply with you in the loss of our dear Frederick. How 
unexpected that he should be taken away before me. 

His beautiful letter which came with yours is a prize. His last words 
to me, so full of deep feeling, — and again, his letter to my cousin, Caroline 
Richardson, read to me this morning — his closing words so nobly ex- 
pressed, as his always were, are a legacy. 

I write in bed and must be brief. I have been, indeed, very ill ; I am 
now relieved from pain, but weak, still. * * * * 

My thoughts dwell with you. To think of dear Frederick stretched on 
a bed of death ! * * » * 

Sincerely yours, 

^ (^:.o^U-^7:i.^.^ 

Washington, D. C, February 21, 1895. 
Mrs. Frederick Douglass. 

Dear Madavt : It is with profound sorrow that I hear of the transition 
of your illustrious husband. In my native State he has many friends who 
will mourn his death. 

But he is not dead, but has awakened to life eternal . His labors for 
his race and for every good cause testified that his spirit was not of the 
earth, earthy. 

The liberty-loving citizens of Massachu.setts loved and honored this 
great apostle of liberty and truth, in the past, and will continue to do so 
in the future. Garrison, Phillips, George Thompson, and all great men, 
loved him as a brother. 


"The storm and peril overpast, 

The howling hatred shamed and still, 
Go, soul of freedom, take at last 
The place which thou aloue can fill. 

' ' Not for thyself, but for the slave 

Thy words of thunder shook the world ; 
No selfish griefs or hatred gave 
The strength wherewith thy bolts were hurled. 

" From lips that Sinai's trumpet blew, 
We heard a tenderer undersong ; 
Thy very wrath from pity grew ; 

From love of man, thy hate of wrong. 

" Go, leave behind thee all that mark 
The work below of man for man ; 
With the white legions of the stars. 
Do service such as angels can. 

" Wherever wrong shall right deny. 
Or suffering spirits urge their plea. 
Be thine the voice to smite the lie, 
A hand to set the captive free." 

(Whittier's poem sent to the funeral of Garrison.) 
Sincerely yours, 

Francis B. Woodbury, Secretary, 
National Spirilualisls' Association of the U. S. America. 

" The Concord," 
Washington, D. C, February 21, 1895. 
Mrs. Frederick Douglass. 

My dear Madam : We are greatly shocked this morning at the news 
of the death of Mr. Douglass last evening. How sudden! It is diflficult 
to realize that we are to meet his familiar presence no more among us. 
What a loss to his family, to the race, to the country, nay, to the world! 
A veritable prince among men has fallen! What a record he has left 
behind him! Where is there a parallel ? 

I first met him on the occasion of one of his earliest visits to Concord, 
New Hampshire. How many incidents illustrative of his noble life are 
brought to mind ? In 1864 difficulties connected with my duties in the 
war compelled me to seek their solution in Washington, and I came by 
way of Toledo, Ohio, where I arrived in season to hear a part of an 
evening address by Mr. Douglass. I talked with him a moment after he 
closed, and again the next morning, and was deeply impressed with the 


fact tliat he uiisunderstood the President. When going over my business 
witli Mr. Lincoln I alhided to the fact that I heard Mr. Douglass and 
mentioned his misapprehensions. The President questioned me about 
them and expressed a desire to know Mr. Douglass, and said, that con- 
sidering the condition from which he had arisen and the obstacles that he 
had overcome, and the position to which he had attained that he regarded 
him as one of the most meritorious men, if not the most meritorious man, 
in the United States, and wondered whether Mr. Douglass knew of his 
letter to Governor Hahn— a copy of which he took from his private 
drawer and read to me — and wondered too, whether he would be willing 
to see him. I replied, telling him what I knew of Mr. Douglass' move- 
ments. The interview was speedily arranged. Mr. Douglass, while in 
town, stopped at the house of a wealthy colored man. Immediately after 
the interview, I called upon him and found him with pen, ink and paper 
on the table, pacing the parlors, and concentrating his thoughts, in a 
state of marked satisfaction. He no longer misunderstood the President, 
and was to pen for him his views on some of the difficulties of the situa- 
tion. He could hardly find language to express his favorable impression 
of the great Emancipator. With much emphasis, he said there was 
nothing in Mr. Lincoln's manner to make him feel that he was black or 
that there was any difference in their color. The friendship that followed 
is well known. Mr. Douglass won the confidence and admiration of the 
greatest and best men the more they knew him. Those nearest him may 
feel his loss more keenly, but they cannot mourn him more sincerely than 
the multitudes of every race and clime, who were familiar with his life- 
long struggles, and the exertion of his great powers for the liberation and 
elevation of the oppressed. He was a true man. Who can fill his place ? 
Heartily sympathizing with you in this great bereavement, I am. 
Very truly yours, etc., 


^ ^ 


February 21, i-'^95. 

My dear Mrs. Douglass: 

My first duty is to write you, and tell you how much I regrel the 
departure of your great and noble husband. To a singular degree, mv 
heart has alwa^-s gone out to him in reverence and love. The question of 
race has never entered into our relations ; I have always thought of him 
as a man so remarkable in gifts and endowments and achievements, that, 
whatever his nationality, my heart must hasten to pay him homage. It 
is verv pleasant to me to recall nianv of his kind words and deeds, and to 


feel that he appreciated, and in some measnre reciprocated, my attach- 

It is a .severer stroke to you, of your recent afflictions. May the 
Iiord comfort yon ! 

To tne I niversity he is a great loss. I had a partial promise from him, 
that he would speak at the opening of our new chapel. But, his great 
heart has felt its last throb. His great voice has thrilled with its last wise 
utterance. His counsel must now come only from memory. To a singu- 
lar and unique degree, God has kept him in such ways, that to call him a 
.sage, as to all the great and agitating questions which have been presented 
to him, is not exaggeration. 

And now he is gone, as though the Lord of Elijah had sent Elijah's 
chariot of glory, so that he saw no decay of his faculties, no loss of his 
vigor; his eye still undimmed, and his natural force unabated. I am 
thankful for that! I wish to think of him as the tall oak, that yields to 
no decay, but is felled by a single stroke, not of wrath, but of infinite love. 

Please regard me as one who wishes to enter the circle of personal 
mourners with you, aud does not stand aloof in the general grief. 
Very truly. 

PirsidenI Hoivard rniversitv. 

Wa.shington, D. C, Februar\ 21, 1S95. 
Mr.s. Frederick 

Dear Madam: A great man has gone ! The news of your lamented 
hu.sband's death came to me this morning with a great shock. 

He was among the earliest to be present at the District Suffrage 
Meeting, on last Monday night, and spoke with his usual feeling and 

In introducing him at the District Suffrage Meeting, held in last 
January, I spoke of his labors in the cause of freedom, and trusted that 
he would long be spared to us, to assist in the cause of justice and equal 
rights in this District. 

Our loss is irreparable, and is only mitigated by the reflexion that he 
leaves behind him a hallowed memory of good deeds and a hallowed life. 
Yours in hearty sympathy. 



W^^ > 


Bay Ridge, N. Y., February 21, 1895. 
Mrs. Frederick Douglass. 

Dear Madam : Reading my morning paper brought me, a few nioments 
since, the great shock from wliich you must suffer so intensely, if I 
myself feel the loss so keenly. 

He has passed away— so noble— so rounded and strong ; so beloved and 
revered ! There is one golden thought ; one perfect and unbroken halo 
about him ! He filled his days with honor. He served his kind and his 
cause to the last full moment of his life, and all who honor freedom and 
esteem man will feel their love for the nolile orator and statesman — the 
stalwart soldier of liberty— deepen into the truest reverence. May this 
be to you his best legacy. 

He was my friend and his passing away is a personal loss. That he 
sent me, but a few days since, so friendly a letter, so full a tribute to my 
small work, is to me a great pleasure, even in the midst of this sorrow. 

My deepest sympathies go out to you, Dear Madam, and my wife joins 

Alwavs with profoundest respect. 
Yours faithfully and truly. 

,M^c/c.>^.^ J, 

Pui.i.i'N Avi;nuh, Cincinnati, Ohio, 

February 21, 1S95. 
Dear Mrs. Frederick Doiiglass : 

The sad tidings of the death of your dear husband carry sorrow 
through the land— I may say many lands ; but nowhere more surely than 
to the family that has cherished his name for more than fifty years. 
Permit me to offer their sjoiipathy in the tender words he addressed to 
me when he heard of the irreparable loss they had sustained. 

"Be assured, my dear friend," he said, "you and yours have my 
fullest sympathy in the great sorrow that has befallen your house. But 
what can I say, what can any one say, that can lift one shadow cast b)- 
this death upon your heart ? Alas! sorrow must bring its ovra solace, and 
mourning its own comforter." 

And then, after speaking of the long and useful life of one he had 
known in "youth, maturity and age," and of " her abundant charity in 
early taking up the cause of the slave, pre-eminently the cause of 
Christ," he continued, " But here I am, trying to do the impossible ! I 
cannot, by word or thought, console you. Sometimes I find myself 
reminding friends, whose dear ones have departed, tliat we will soon join 
the unnumbered throng in the silent continent of eternity. I do this now 
more than formerl}-, because I am sensibly growing old. I am now in 
my seventy-eighth year. IWy friends tell me that I do not seem old, and 


assure me that I have many days left me ; but I do uot deceive myself by 
such illusions. I am looking to the sunset and doing so very calmly. I 
know I am in the care and keeping of the Almighty, and, whether I live 
or die, I still remain within the arm of His power." 

Verj' sincerely your friend, 


No. 146 Broadway, New York, 

February 21, 1895. 
Mrs. Frederick Douglass. 

Madame: Permit me to join in the universal condolence which will 
be offered you on the sudden demise of our champion and friend — your 
talented and public-spirited hu.sbaud, who, judged by any standard, was 
one of the greatest men America has produced ; and, measured by the 
heights attained and the obstacles overcome, confessedly the greatest. 

I little thought, when I had the honor of introducing him at the 
Providence meeting, that I should never see him again in the flesh, and 
I shall count it among the hallowed memories of my life that I did then 
meet him, and had a chance to grasp his hand and to hear his voice. 

My wife and Mrs. Fleet and her sons join with me in condolin.5 with 
you and Mr. Douglass' children, in what must, from the nature of 
things, be an irreparable bereavement. 
I am Madame, 

Yours most respectfully. 


Ann Arbor, Mich. 

February 21, 1S95. 

Mrs. Frederick Douglass. 

Dear Madame: News has just reached the West of the sudden demise 
of your honored, beloved and illustrious husband, Frederick Douglass. 
Allow me to express my heartfelt sjnnpathy and condolence in your hour 
of affliction. Your sobs, your groans, your sighs are reverberated in the 
sobs, the groans, the sighs of twelve millions of negroes who loved him ; 
who idolized him, and who will cherish his name and his memory as no 
name and memory were ever before cheri,shed. 

Your loss is not sectional, not national; but a universal loss. There- 
fore feel not alone in your sorrow and affliction, but consider that, at this 


same moment, thousands, yea millions, mourn with you for the death of 
Frederick Douglass. 

Again expressing my sympathy and condolence, I have the pleasure 
to be Yours very truly, 



New York, le 21 Fevrier, 1895. 

Madame: C'est avec une douloureuse surprise qu' Haiti apprendra la 
nouvelle de la mort subite de I'honorable Frederic Douglass, votre ^poux. 

Le President Hyppolite, le Gouvemement et le Peuple haitiens 
regretteront vivement la perte du grand tribun de la race noire, de celui 
qui par ses vertus et par ses talents a conquis I'admiration et le respect des 
classes ^clairees de tous les pays du monde. 

Veuillez agreer, Madame, 1 'expression de mes sentiments personnels de 
profond chagrin. 

c/4>A^U^^^ ^',i^&^^' 

JIadame Vve. Frederick Douglass, 
Anacostia, D. C. 

"The Stratford," 
Philadelphia, Pa., February 2T, 1895. 
My dear Mrs. Douglass: 

How swiftly that great soul passed on into the Light ! 

It seems but a day since we were talking pleasantly together, — onl)' two 
days before his transit to a better world. 

When we read the account, this morning. Lady Henry Somerset and I 
said, in one breath, " How thankful we are that we saw him! " It was 
one of life's pleasantest experiences— that little talk with your great and 
good husband. I shall never have his voice for my phonograph, but the 
autobiograph}- is a noble monument to his memory. Lady Henry and I 
have been reading it with great pleasure, and we highly value the auto- 
graph inscriptions. 

Dear friend, may the blessing and comfort of our Heavenly Father help 
you, is my prayer. Ever sincerely. 




Saginaw, E. S., Mich., 

February 21, 1895. 
My dear Madame : 

I have learned with profound regret of the death of your husband. I 
condole with you most sincerely on the sad event, and if sympathy of 
friends can be any consolation under the trying circumstances, be assured 
that all who knew him share in your sorrow for his loss. There is, how- 
ever, a higher source of consolation than earthly friendship, and, com- 
mending you to that, I remain, 

To Mrs. Frederick Douglass, 
Washington, D. C. 
P. S. Please accept the enclosed lines.— J. H. G. 


J. H. Gr-1 

Brooklyn, N. Y., February 22, 1895. 
To THE Bereaved Widow and Family of 

Honorable Frederick Douglass, Anacostia, D. C. 
Dear Madain and Friends: We, the officers and members of St. 
Augustine P. E. Church Aid Literary, of Brooklyn, realizing the great 
and irreparable loss that the race has sustained by the demise of the 
Honorable Frederick Douglass, the chief pioneer of emancipation 
throughout the Union, respectfully tender to you, the bereaved family 
our sincere and inexpressible condolence, and trust that you may find 
some solace in the fact that " he is not dead, but gone before," to receive 
the fruits of his lifelong labors. 

We remain yours in sympathy, 

Sumner C. Lewis, President. 
Mrs. J. A. Young, Vice-President. 
Henry S. Williams, ] 
Louis A. Jeppe 

and members, 


125 Highland Street, 
ROXBURY, Mass., February 22, 1895. 
My dear Mrs. Douglass : 

The announcement of your honored husband's swift translation to 
another life, came with a shock to me, as to all his friends and to the 
world at large, and you have my deepest sympathy in your great bereave- 
ment. But while I deplore his departure, and keenly feel the irreparable 
loss which the country has sustained in the disappearance of his unique 
and noble and inspiring personality, I am glad that the great change 
came, as I believe he would have wished it, without pain, or suffering, or 


decay, and iu an instant, and the last happy day of his life, spent as it 
was at the Woman's Council, the honored guest of that great representa- 
tive gathering, and by the side of old friends, seems to me not the least 
of the many dramatic and felicitous incidents of his -wonderfully romantic 
life. I like to think, too, of his last visit to Boston, when his surviving 
anti-slavery co-workers flocked to greet him, and the Legislature of the 
State welcomed him in both its Houses ; and I am glad I heard his 
masterly address on the lynching question, at that time. I have many 
pictures of him iu my memory, from the evening when the Emancipation 
Proclamation was first read in Boston, and he led the great audience in 
singing " The Year of Jubilee Has Come," to his last appearance in this 
city, thirty-one years later. 

I recall him as he appeared in the camp of the Fifty-fourth Massachu- 
setts Regiment, and again, among the exultant speakers in Faneuil Hall, 
after the fall of Richmond ; and I remember with peculiar pleasure his 
and your visit to my father's old home here, in iS86. He belonged not 
only to two races, but to two nations, and both and all realize to-day their 
common loss. In how many homes in England and Ireland his name is 
spoken with tender affection and sadness to-day ! 

The mar\-elous contrast between his early years of bondage and suffer- 
ing and his serene and happy afternoon of life, is the common theme 
to-day ; but only his nearer friends know how serene and happy your 
companionship made tliese last years to him. Be assured that they 
appreciate it and are grateful to you for facing so unflinchingly whatever 
of trial it involved. That you are and will ever be grateful for the privilege 
of that companionship with such a great and world-embracing spirit a.S 
his, they know full well, aud their congratulations go to you with their 
condolence, now that the earthly limit is reached. Certainly his career 
here was most happily rounded and crowned. 

Believe me, with sincerest sympathy and regard, 
Faithfully yours. 

"The Stratford." 
PHlLADELrHiA, Pa., February 22, 1895. 
My dear Mrs. DougIvASS : 

The tidings of your great loss and the loss of the entire world, in the 
death of your noble husband, comes to me as a personal grief, for 
the impression made by that dignified aud genial presence and states- 
manlike intellect is still fresh in mind and heart. 

I shall always be grateful and glad that I was privileged to grasp the 
hand of the great leader of his race in this century, and one of the chief 
apostles of the universal freedom of mankind. 


God bless and comfort you with the realization of all your husband has 
been spared by such a swift and happy transition into the land of light. 

I see him, as I last looked on him, with his noble head and bright 
smile and his kindly good-bye, and I am glad to think I have another 
friend over there, where so many are fast gathering as the day of life 
grows late. Yours in sincere sympathy, 


McKiNLEV Republican Cldb, 
Baltimore, Md., February 22, 1895. 
Mrs. Douglass and Family : 

We sincerely commiserate you, in this fearful and awful visitation ; not 
only we, of the above-named club, but our colored citizens of Baltimore. 
It is true that we live in a world where dark shadows are continually 
falling on our path, and we must all, one by one, yield to them. 

Mr. Douglass was good, in every sense of tlie word. His charities, his 
willingness to relieve any real distress ; his talents and his charms 
endeared him to all. 

Accept our sympathy, and weep not, for he only awaits you upon the 
heavenly shores. We are sincerely yours, 

Alexander McDaniels, President. 
William Murray, Secretary. 

50 Tudor Road, South Hackney, 
London, N. E., England, February 23, 1895. 
To Mrs. Frederick Dougl.ass. 

Madam : We, the undersigned members of the Central Council of the 
International Society for the Recognition of the Brotherhood of Man, beg 
to tender you and your household our heartfelt sympathy in your 
bereavement. To some of us Mr. Douglass was personally known, and 
by all of us he was admired, respected and loved. 

Madam, the great services which your noble husband rendered the of Brotherhood have already borne good fruit, which must increase 
a hundred-fold as years roll by. In his removal humanity has sustained 
a sad loss. Yet there is comfort in the inspiring remembrance of his 
noble Ufe and all that it achieved, which encourages each of us to follow 
faithfully along the broadening path of freedom, whose thorny entrance 
was marked so deeply and cleared so well by his courageous footsteps 
and his strong arguments. 

In yielding to our strong desire to assure you. Madam, of our fervent 
sympathy, we would not intrude unduly upon your privacy at this sad 


juncture. Yet would we fain express our earnest hope that God may 
abundantly comfort and bless you in your great sorrow. May His conso- 
lation be given to you and your household. We are, Madam, 
Yours most respectfully and in deepest sympathy, 

Isabella Fv-vie Mayo, 

Rev. S. G. Woodrow, 

Frau F.rckmann, 

Alzey, Hesse, Germany. 
George Ferdinands, M. D., 

Ceylon, E. I. 
E. Cameron Mawson, 

Ashfield, Gateshead. 
Mary A. M. Marks, 

155 Adelaide Road, London. 
Fanny L. Kingerbey, 

50 Tudor Road, London. 
Mary G. Burnett, 

52 Lower Sloane St., S. W. 
Edwin J. Norris, M. R. C. S., 

10 Cottage Grove, Southsea. 
Helen Sillsbie, 

50 Tudor Road, London. 
William Thompson, 

19 South John St., Liverpool. 

Boston, Mass., February 23, 1S95. 
My dear Mrs. Douglass ; 

I regret exceedingly that I cannot be present at the funeral of Mr. 
D uglass, to represent the family of his old friend, as well as to testify 
my own personal respect. The attendance and the tributes will doubtless 
be worthy of the remarkable man and the occasion. No one succeeds 
him, for he 

" hath not left his peer." 

I shall always esteem it an honor to have presided at his last lecture in 
Boston. His vigorous presence then indicated many years of life in 
store, and the announcement of his death came with a sudden shock. 
Yet it was merciful to him, and he has escaped the pains and infirmities 
of age. 

Our hearts go out in sympathy to you and the bereaved family. 
Very sincerely yours, 



Storrr College, 
Harper's Ferry, W. Va., February 23, 1895. 
My dear Mrs. Dodgi,ass : 

The nation and a common humanity share wth you your j^reat sorrow. 
All have lost a tried and noble defender. 

His was a deep and abiding interest in Storer College. On the day of 
his death I received his as.surance that he would be one of the lecturers in 
our anticipated course for the benefit of our church building. 

His autograph letter will always be held as a sacred memento, and his 
name stands at the head of our noble list of contributors. 
Yours, in the consolations of the Gospel, 

E. W. Porter, 
Pastor Harper's Ferry Free Baptist Church. 

National Council of Women of the United States. 
Office of the President, 

Indianapolis, Ind., February 23, 1S95. 
To the Family of Frederick Douglass : 

The National Council of Women of the United States send affectionate 
and sympathetic greeting to the bereaved. 

At a meeting held by the working body of the National Council, it was 
ordered that through a committee appointed for the purpose, the National 
Council should express its consciousness of its own participation in the 
universal sense of loss experienced b\' the nation in the death of Frederick 
Douglass. The special committee thus constituted feels that the commu- 
nication is properly of a fourfold character. Hence a resolution has been 
framed by a sub-committee, a copy of which will accompany this letter. 
Hence, also, a poem has been written by a patron of the National Coun- 
cil, appointed by this committee, a copy of which also will be found 
enclosed herein. The floral tribute, which this letter and its enclosures 
accompany, is another expression of the Council's participation with you, 
the personally bereaved, in doing honor to the memory of him you mourn. 

This letter would not be a proper medium for expressing the Council's 
conception of the character of Frederick Douglass, or of his unique con- 
tribution to the solution of the vexed problems involved in the doctrine 
of human liberty, and if in other respects proper, it would surely be 

Therefore, in this letter, the Council, leaving the public rostrum, 
approaches your fireside in the spirit of those who "mourn with them 
that mourn." 

The women constituting the Council have so often been called upon to 
realize in their own experience and in the observation of their own sex, 
that capabilities of brain and heart do not exist in inverse, but in direct 
proportion with each other, that they would find it incredible that a man 


endowed with the intellectual powers of Frederick Douglass, should not 
be endowed aUo with a correspondin;<ly universal capacity for affection. 

Women have also observed, notwithstanding the almost universal 
misconception of them in this respect, that the women whose hearts are 
the quickest to respond to public appeals for help and sympathy are also 
quickest to respond to every private claim. Therefore, the women of tlie 
Council realize that the home at whose centre beats a heart strong with 
love for all humanity, vital with affection, sympathy and tenderness, 
must feel, now that that heart has ceased to beat, that the world itself is 
cold and dead. 

In the first hours of such bereavement, it is difficult to realize that there 
can be any compensation for their pain. But, while we mourn with you 
your present loss, we also rejoice with you in your past and therefore 
permanent possession ; and, in a world wherein death has not yet been 
conquered and barred, is it possible to conceive of a more welcome shape 
in which it could come than that in which it came to your husband and 
father ? 

That one should "by reason of strength" approach fourscore years, 
and far from finding that all life is " vanity and vexation of spirit," find 
that life is one precious opportunity, every fleeting moment of which has 
been used in its passing to its highest purpose — every fleeting moment 
has been so used that it has enriched the life of which it formed a part 
and every other with which that hfe touched. 

To have come up to fourscore with an almost unimpaired physical 
■vitality, with perfect vigor of intellect, and with unabated vivacity of 
emotion — this is to have drunk life from a full and sweet chalice. 

To be permitted in this condition to meet the mysterious transition, is 
to be blessed indeed. 

So, dear friends, we cannot wholly mourn, because of the rejoicing in 
our hearts that such a life has been; that such a valiant struggle has found 
issue in a certain victory. 

The highest honor which we can show to the memory of him who has 
passed from the visible world to the world invisible — and to you whose 
longing eyes are straining into the impenetrable darkness to follow him — 
is to contemplate his life as an in.spiration, and to respond to his example 
by an answering devotion to human liberty and to human equality. 
May Wright Sewell, 
President of the National Council of the 
Women of the United States. 
Susan B. Anthony, 
Lii.i,iAN M. N. Stevens, 
Anna H. Shaw, 
Emily Rowland, 
J. Ellen Fo.ster, 
Margaret Ray Wickens, 
f, Committee. 


Toledo, O., Teliruary 23, 1S95. 
My dear Mrs. Douglass : 

I join the sorrowing millions wlio mourn witli you the sudden death 
of your distinguished husband. 

In an address delivered by nie on the twelfth instant, I did not forget 
to group your husband's name with those of the great anti-slavery men 
and women whom I profoundlj- venerate. No one of them all com- 
manded my enthusiastic admiration more than he ; no one better deserves 
the generous love of mankind. 



TusKEEGEE Normal and Industrial Institute, 
TuSKEEGEE, Ala., February 23, 1S95. 
Mrs. Frederick Douglass, Anacostia, D. C. 

Dear Madain : With thousands of others, I write to express, in your 
hour of mourning, my sj-mpathy with j-ou in the loss of your ,<;ood and 
greal husband. 

We shall hold memorial services here Sunday evening. 
Yours truly, 

Booker T. Washington. 

Mill Field Street, 
Somersetshire, England, February 23, 1895. 

Dear Mrs. Douglass : 

Although a stranger to you, I feel I can hardly refrain from saying a 
few words to you, to express something of the great sorrow I felt last 
evening on hearing of the removal of your noble husband from our 
earthly life. He seems the last of that band of remarkable men whom 
from childhood we have learned to admire and esteem — the heroes of the 
great anti-slavery struggle. 

It is only a day or two ago that I was saying in my family how much 
I still hoped to see Mr. Douglass again in America. I had a beautiful 
letter from him a few months ago, in kind reply to some inquiries of 
mine. I have read and re-read it to myself and to others. I cannot but 
deeply regret that I had never thanked him for it, !u;ving left it partly in 


the hope that I might be able to say something more satisfactor>- relating 
to matters I had inquired about. I cannot but grieve that I had not 
written and said all that was in my mind to say. 

Mr. Douglass' little visit to us seven years ago will always be a great 
pleasure to look back on. I have been always particularly glad that mj- 
children could remember his venerable and noble figure. 

Last night I was thinking of the reunion which may have taken place, 
the meeting with many of the old associates, and I thought that, after his 
own family, there would be few who, if permitted, would welcome Mr. 
Douglass with more warmth than my father, who loved him for his 
gifts, for his early sufferings, and for his great work for both races. 

It is with a true personal sorrow that I venture to send you these few 
lines, * * * » Belitve me, dear Mrs. Douglass, 

kCu^ ^ (/h^U- cu^ 

r r Grove Street, 
Boston, M.\SS., February 23, 1S95. 

Mrs. Frederick Douglass. 

Dear Friend : All classes of New England unite with the civilized 
world in mourning the death of your distinguished husband. 

The notices in our leading journals but feebly express the universal 
feelings of our hearts in the death of one we dearly loved. God called 
him suddenly because of his life work of faithfulness. "The King's 
business demands haste," and only responsible messengers are ordered 
" into the presence of the King." 

His work for humanity was his preparation to enter into the rest pre- 
pared for the children of God. May his soul rest in peace! 
Yours in sympathy. 

153 West Fifty-third Street, 
New York, N. Y., Februarj- 23, 1S95. 
Mrs. Frederick Douglass. 

Respected Madam : The officers and members of the "Society Sons of 
New York " desire to tender to yourself and family their deepest sym- 
pathy for the loss sustained by you through the death of your devoted 


husband, our honored friend and the nation's statesman, Frederick 
Douglass. He has ever held the choicest place in our hearts for his 
gracious interest in our society, and, in accepting the title of " honorary 
member," he gave fresh impetus to our efforts, and proved his love for the 
race which is constantly seeking " a nobler manhood." 
Yours, with profound regret, 

The Society Sons of New York. 

W. Russell Johnson, President. 

Joseph F. Treadwell, Secretary. 
W. H. Carter, Chairman Executive Committee. 

Washington, D. C, February 23, 1895. 
Mrs. Frederick Douglass. 

Most Bereaved Lady : I would bear thee up and lay thee on the breast 
of thy martyred husband. 

His labors are finished; he has kept the faith; his course has been con- 
sistent; he has stretched onward and reached the mark. 

He was the Toussaint I'Ouverture of the nineteenth century. He looked 
like our Saviour, and did nobly emulate Him by being the saviour of our 

Yours, in most sincere sympathy, 

Charles A. Bradley. 

12 Blandford Road, Bedford Park, 
London, February 26, 1895. 
DEAR Mrs. Douglass: 

I have been thinking of you all these days since the first telegram 
brought us the sad tidings of your loss, of the colored people's loss, of 
woman's loss, of America's loss, and I must put my hand in yours to let 
you know, in a measure at least, how much I feel for you. 

I know that the light of your life is darkened, and that henceforth 
nothing will be quite the same to you as in the happy days when he stood 
by your side, and you felt in all your woman's soul that he was yours, 
and that you stood together, one and strong, in the unity and strength of 
your love. Frederick Douglass was a noble man and you might well be 
proud of him. * * * 

As yet we have only the cable messages. I hope the Woman' s Journal 
will give full particulars. He was always a faithful champion to woman; 
a true knight of chivalric mould as ever was. Nearly seven years have 
passed by since I was at your charming Cedar Hill. » * * 
Always in sympatliy and sincere affection yours, 
Rebecca Moore. 


Frontier Lodge, No. 14. 
Knights of Honor of the World. 
Hartshorn, Indian Territory, February 26, 1895. 
Mrs. Frederick Douglass : 

The sad news of the death of so noble a man as the Hon. Frederick 
Douglass meets our ears in our little city with profound sorrow, and we 
feel with heartrending sjtnpathy for you and the loved ones. Not only 
you have lost a husband, but the race has lost the noblest man of our race. 
With these words of condolence, may the God of peace be with you 
and ever con.sole you in the hour of l)ereavement. 

We, this sacred order of Knights of Honor, have last a loving brother, 
as well as a race leader. 

We beg to remain yours in truest sympathy, 

W. S. Webber, 
A. Turner, 
Charles Vincent, 
of Frontier Lodge, No. 14. 

8 Clifton Place, 
Brooklyn, N. Y., February 26, 1S95. 
Dear Mrs. Douglass: 

I cannot refrain from expressing my sincere sorrow and regret at the 
passing away of your noble husband. 

One of the earliest recollections of my boyhood is that of sitting on his 
knee, in my father's house, in Providence, and listening to his stories 
of his life in slavery and his escape to freedom. Contact with the brave 
pioneers of the anti-slavery movement, I count as one of the chief factors 
in my moral training. None came to our house, I think, who was so 
much loved as Mr. Douglass. There was no bitterness mingled with his 
earnest devotion to the cause of freedom. He was always genial, kind, 
brimming over with the pure wine of human nature. 

Of all the men of our time, I know of none who can be named as sur- 
passing him in genuine achievement. The time will come when America 
will be proud to give him place among the noblest of her sons, and when 
we shall look back upon their petty race prejudice, the long-d3ang 
heritage of chattel slavery, with wonder, shame and sincere contrition. 

I honor Frederick Douglass, too, as the friend of religious as well as 
secular liberty — the large-minded champion of every factor which goes 
to make up our progressive civilization. 

With sincere sympathy with you in your bereavement, believe me, 
Faithfully yours, 

President of the Brooklyn Ethical Association. 


171 Warwick Road, C, Sparkhill, 
Birmingham, England, March i, 1S95. 
To THE Family of the Late Frederick Douglass. 

Dear Friends: Our annual meeting was lield in tie Priestly Road 
Church, on February 26, 1895. Having listened with feelings of deep 
emotion to the eulogy on the late and much lamented Frederick 
Douglass, delivered by the Rev. Peter Thomas Stanford, D.D., England's 
colored preacher, it is resolved that the officers and members of the 
Sturge Lodge No. 7, Independent Order Good Templars, and visitors 
assembled, do hereby earnestly desire to express to the family of our 
departed brother, and to the race to which he belonged, our deepest and 
heartfelt sympathy for the great loss they have sustained. The unselfish, 
devoted life he lived has, we feel assured, won for him a crown of ever- 
lasting glory. His name will always be held in sacred keeping by us and 
by all lovers of liberty throughout the world. 

We would further desire to say to our beloved friends in America that, 
while we must needs share with them their grief and weep with them in 
their hour of affliction, we must also entreat them to share our thankful- 
ness to God for having raised up such a noble man, and with us to bow 
submissively to Him who doetli all things well. 

It is further resolved that a copy of our resolutions be forwarded to the 
family of the deceased and to the national colored papers of America, 
and to the Watchiuard \. O. G. T, England. 

R. Smith, Sccretaty D. G. C. T. 

Caldwell, Ohio, March i, 1895. 
Mrs. Frederick Douglass, 

Washington, D. C. 

Dear Madam : I have learned with sorrow that my dear friend, your 
husband, Frederick Douglass, has been called away from the scene of 
earthly labor and trial into a brighter and better world. It should be 
with us, as doubtless it is with him, matter of sincere rejoicing that this 
life of pain and sorrow is exchanged for one free from all suffering and 
sin ; but such is our nature that we must weep, even when our friends 
pass to a brighter shore. 

I know that when my darling son was so suddenly taken from me, you 
and he both wept with us, though we could not but know that the lad 
was better off over yonder ' ' on the ever green shore. ' ' Such is our frailt}' 
that we weep and refuse to be comforted when death takes our dear 
ones away. 

" We shall meet, but we .shall miss him " forever and everywhere, and 
where not ? What great scene these forty years where he was not a con- 
spicuous figure ? If I went to a National Convention, he was there! if to 
the National Encampment of our G. A. R., who all loved him as a 
comrade, he was there. In the great cities, in the towns, in the corridors 


of the Capitol, I was not surprised any day to meet Frederick Douglass ; 
always modest, always self- forgetful, always mindful, first of all, of the 
comfort and welfare of others ; genial and with a smile, how warm was 
the clasp of his honest hand, the beam of his friendly countenance. 

During the first days of our journey through Indiana, in iSSo, he was 
sad and hopeless, and talked of giving up and going home. Our meetings 
were slim and wanting in spirit and enthusiasm. His keen faculties took 
it all in, and, naturally he traced it all to Grant's defeat. But one morn- 
ing when I came down to breakfast, the stalwart man with the flowing 
mane of snow was beaming with smiles. "Say, Dalzell," he said, 
cheerily, " did you hear anj-thing drop in the night ?" I was puzzled and 
stupidly said, "No." He laughed outright. "Look at that," he ex- 
claimed, handing me the morning paper, and pointed with one bronze 
finger to the headlines. I saw it all at a glance, " Grant and Conkliug at 
Warren," and I saw why he smiled. After that all went merry as a 
marriage bell. Our meetings became larger and the enthusiasm intense, 
until, towards the last, he traveled in one continuous ovation, and 
Indiana was ours and Garfield elected. 

I knew him well. He had his moods. " He wrought in sad sincerity." 
He was too large and good for malice, revenge, envy or petty meanness 
of any kind. Conscious of power, he was alwaj-s modest. I never heard 
him boast of anything,— least of all, of anything he had said or done. 
Praise enough, even flattery enough, had been accorded him in both 
Europe and America, to have spoiled an ordinary mortal, though his skin 
were fair as Parian marble. But it did not spoil him. 

His ideal was lofty, but, of course, unattainable in mortal life ; but in 
the sweet rest of heaven, to which I believe this good, kind soul has 
surely gone, that ideal will, in God's own time, be realized. 

I shall miss him while I live; but no heart can know your sorrow or 
enter into the sacred domain of your affliction to offer you the sympathy 
and comfort you so much need in this, your great trial. 

May God comfort you and tlie children of our departed friend. 
Most sincerely, 

The Quarries, 
Newca.stle-upon-Tyne, March 2, 1S95. 
Dear Madam: Your telegram, so soon after the letter from Mr. 
Douglass, written on February I2lh, was very touching. 

The English papers had told us of your loss, and were full of the most 
appreciative notices. 


I trust that the knowledge of all Mr. Douglass did for his people will 

help you to bear the blow. All who knew him must feel that they are 

richer for even a slight acquaintance. Those of my circle, who shared 

your telegram, wish to join me in the warmest expressions of sympathy. 

Believe me, yours very truly, 

( ^<f-L^ ^Uk 


9 Rue de Bassano, 
Champs Elvsees, Paris, March 2, 1895. 
My dear Mrs. Douglass: 

We have just heard of the great loss that has befallen you, and we 
hasten to send our sincerest expression of real sympathy. 

I can never forget those most delightful hours with Frederick Doug- 
lass, during his sojourn with you in Paris, in the autumn of 1SS6. I have 
just written an article for a New York paper in which I recall them. 

What a grand, noble man he was ! I frequently thought of him last 
month as I was reading "Uncle Tom," with my children ; not that he 
resembled the hero of that powerful work, but because he was one of the 
strong men who helped, like Mrs. Stowe, to destroy the curse of slavery. 

.\nd now he is gone ! His loss is not only yours, but that of the whole 
nation, for he was a magnificent and unique example of moral and 
humanitarian greatness. 

Mrs. Stanton joins me in warmest regards. 

Sincerelv vours. 

w/icrir-^^'^ ^Tft-^rv^l^ 

Paris, France, March 3, 1895. 
My dear Mrs. Douglass : 

I infer that by this time you will have gone back from Rochester to 

As to Frederick, I have already said my say. I have said it in verse. 

But what I have said— now that I have said it — seems to me to be 
written in so intimate, so personal and so affectionate a vein, that I ques- 
tion the good judgment of publishing my eulogistic stanzas at the present 


I will uot tnist them even to yourself. * * * 

Meanwhile, my object in this note is to say that, ever since I had the 
news of his death, I have been filled with every friendly emotion except 
one, and that is, grief, for of this sombre sensation I have felt none at 
all; but, on the contrary, I have experienced a strange joy and pride 
that he has rounded out his many years amid such universal honor, and 
has gone down into his grave with such a magnificent exit from this 
calumnious world. 

I have shed no tears— pardon me for saying so — and I have therefore a 
more than common privilege of speech. 

Please remember me to the boys and tell them to be as proud of their 
father as if he had been Miles Standish, or Israel Putnam, or James Otis. 
With kindest regards, 

Washington, D. C, March 8, 1895. 
Mrs. Frederick Douglass. 

Dear Madam : At the last meeting of the Woman's Anthropological 
Society, the secretary' was instructed to communicate to you their un- 
feigned sympathy in the affliction which has fallen upon you. 

They are deeply conscious that words are utterly inadequate to reach 
sorrow such as that which now overwhelms you, but they earnestly hope 
that this expression of their heartfelt sympathy may, in a measure, 
impart to you strength to bear your irreparable loss. 

As one whom the Father comforteth, may the dear Lord comfort you. 
Very sincerely, 

Marianna p. Seaman, 

Coyyfsponding Secrelary, W. A. S. 

Humboldt, Humboldt County, Iowa, 
March 13, 1895. 
Mrs. F. Douglass, Washington, D. C. 

Bereaved Friend: Although not privileged with your personal 
acquaintance, I beg permission to express to you and the other members 
of the family of my old-time friend, your departed husband, my deep and 


abiding svuipathy with you in your great bereavement. All true friends 
of human progress who have known Mr. Douglass, or have known of his 
faithful work along all lines of reform, join with you in mourning his 
death. Permit me to add that it is your privilege to mingle with your 
sorrow the sentiment of gratitude to God for the blessing of his com- 
panionship and counsel for so many years. 

I enclose herewith a copy of my remarks at the memorial service held 
in Des Moines, Iowa, which please accept with the assurance of my 
abiding sympathy. 

Very truly yours, 


Port-au-Prince, Haiti, March 15, 1095. 
My dear Mrs. Douglass : 

Permit me, in the name of all the members of my family, and in my 
own name, to make a pilgrimage across the waves of old ocean; to take a 
seat in your family circle, of which the chief link has just been rudely 
broken, and enter into your grief as far as it is possible for a deeply 
sympathizing friend to do. * * * * 

Indeed, it is only because the stupendous blow has come upon us sud- 
denly and without preliminary warning that we may be excused if our 
pained bosoms are swelled with unwonted grief. Otherwise, we can but 
rejoice that our dear departed brother, having filled out the full measure 
of his days with glorious deeds, heroically performed in harmony with 
lofty thoughts, breathed forth in burning words nobly uttered, has at last 
gone to his high, hard-earned and well-merited repose. 

Mr. Dougl.iss was truly a grand man, and his life was noble and 
sublime. Not only his dear family, his native country, his peeled, scat- 
tered and persecuted race; not only humanity entire, of whom he was a 
bright and shining light, but the whole constellated universe is also 
better for his having lived, suflfered, labored and died, faithful to duty 
unto the last. 

He was one of those rare spirits that the earth labors long and weary 
centuries to conceive and bring to birth, and who, on their appearance, 
take of right the vanguard in marshaling the toiling and sufiTering 
millions and leading them to "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity." 

And oh! how grand and glorious was the death that fitly closed a half 
century of God-inspired labors in the cause of humanity. He fell at his 
post of duty, with all his armor on, and prepared as ever to do battle in 
the sacred cause in which he had been enlisted for a full jubilee of years. 
His heroic face was still fronting the foe, ready to make another desperate 
charge, as the mortal coil fell from his liberated spirit, which soared up- 
wards whence it came. 


Moreover, I rejoice that the last public ser\'ices which he was called to 
render to his country were honorably discharged in his capacity of Min- 
ister Resident near the Government of this independent republic of the 
Caribbean Sea, where ray humble lot has been cast for a period now well 
on to forty years; and where, in his integrity in contending for the prin- 
ciples of everlasting justice aud equity established by the " Higher Law," 
he had the courage to put his manly foot upon the head of tortuous 

This last oiEcial function in the service of his own countrv- was happily 
supplemented by an honorable public service for the Republic of Haiti, 
as her accredited commissioner at the Universal Columbian Exposition, 
at Chicago. 

It was indeed fitting that this lifelong champion of the rights of his 
long oppressed race should have thus crowned his closing labors, in such 
trusted aud intimate relations with the sovereign and independent people 
of this black republic, who were the first of their race to break oflf, wdth 
their own hands, the fetters of slavery and to dash them into the faces of 
their inhuman oppressors; and who thereb}' \andicated, not only their 
right, but also their abihty to free themselves, and gave the needed 
emphasis to the philanthropic appeals in behalf of the race that had been 
voiced by the Clarksons, the Wilberforces and the Gregories. 

And now that the curtain of eternity has dropped upon this sublime and 
closing scene of his public life, let us again, dear madame and all the 
afflicted family, lift up our sorrowing hearts and thank our Heavenly 
Father for the gift to earth of such a noble man, and bless His holy 
name for the light shed upon humanity's upward pathway by such a 
splendid life! 

Meanwhile I am, dear Mrs. Douglass, very faithfully, your deeply 
sympathizing friend and brother. 


A Tribute from Some Rochester Friends. 

Rochester, N. Y., February 24, 1S95. 

The many friends of Frederick have been stricken by sorrow 
at the news of his death. 

We who were his only sympathizers and helpers in the great cause to 
which he was dedicated, feel and mourn his loss in a peculiar 1 



His friendship is one of those memories which we shall always cherish. 

He was our near and dear friend, as well as the great leader to whom 

we looked up in a cause which held our fullest sympathy. 

His memory is indeed blessed and glorious — the memory of a brave 

spirit and a strong man — who strove and dared all things in the sacred 

cause of Freedom. 

Mary H. Hallowei,!,, 
Sarah C. Blackali., 
Jacob K. Post, 
Sarah I,. Willis, 
Laura Ramsdell, 
Lenia C. Smith, 
Maria E. Porter, 
Dr. Porter Farley, 
Mary S. Anthony, 
Jean Brooks Greenleap, 
IvENiA C. Smith, 
To this I gladly append the name of 

«i^:;2^-«-3:-««'*-t. yj^. 




The Faculty and Students of Shaw University, 
Raleigh, N. C. 

Whereas, A gracious and inscrutable Providence has been pleased to 
call from tliis life the race's great and illustrious champion and defender, 
Frederick Douglass; and 

Whereas, His departure entails au irreparable loss, not only to his 
struggling race, whom he served so well and long, but also to the great 
coiintry of which he was a citizen; therefore be it 

Resolved, That the faculty and students of Shaw University view with 
a deep sense of sorrow the national and race calamity involved in the 
death of Frederick Douglass. 

Resolved, That in his passing away, freedom loses one of its bravest and 
best advocates; humanity, one of its most faithful and eloquent friends; 
and the world, one of its noblest and most remarkable men. 

Resolved, That in this hour of exceeding sadness and loss, we extend 
to the surviving family and relatives the earnest sympathy of our hearts, 
and pray for them that sweet comfort and consolation that comes from a 
devout trust in God, who does all things for the best. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent for publication to the 
leading race journals, and that one of such be forwarded to Mrs. Frederick 
Douglass, Anacostia, D. C. 

In Memory ok Frederick Douglass. 
During the early part of the evening of February 20th, 
the Women's National Council, then convened at Wash- 
ington, D. C, received the news of the death of Frederick 
Douglass, and this was announced to the convention in a 
brief speech. Mr. Douglass had been extended the courte- 
sies of the meeting at the business session the previous 
morning. In the course of Mrs. Sewell's remarks she said : 

The report, as unwelcome as it is sad and solemn, has come to us of the 

sudden and most unexpected death of Frederick Douglass. That historic 



figure, which personally and intellectually was the symbol of the wonder- 
ful transition period through which this generation has lived, has been 
with us in our Council as an interested witness during both of our sessions 
to-day. When we entered the hall this morning it was ordered that an 
escort be appointed to conduct him to the platform. 

We felt that this platform was honored by his presence, and I am sure 
there was no division of feeling upon the .subject among all the organiza- 
tions here represented, although including women whose families are 
related to all the different political parties of our country, and who, by 
ancestry, have been connected with both sides of the great questions 
which have been presented to our common country for solution. 

Mr. Douglass expressed his deep interest in the significance of our pro- 
ceedings by returning in the afternoon; but he declined to occupy a place 
on the platform, desiring to sit where he could see and hear all that was 
going forward. 

Surely it will be regarded as an historic coincidence that the man who, 
in his own person, embodied the history of almost a century, in the 
struggle between freedom and oppression, should spend his last day as a 
witness of the united efforts of those who have come from so many differ- 
ent places and along such various avenues, to formulate some plan upon 
which they may unite to demand a new expression of freedom in the 
relation of woman to the world, to society, and to the State, and in the 
application of woman's brain and conscience to the great questions 
pending at this hour. 

The following memorial, in honor of Mr. Donglass, was 
adopted by the National Council : 

Resolved, That in the death of Hon. Frederick Douglass, the National 
Council of Women of the United States, assembled in Triennial Session, 
feels itself sorely bereaved, and, with tender respect and patriotic devo- 
tion, joins in memoriam of the great and good man, pas.sed from the 
scenes of time. 

We mourn him as a great and good man gone, as a great figure of 
prophecy, of hope and of fulfillment in the annals of American history; 
but keener is our sense of loss because he was so lately in our midst. 
His last day on earth was passed with us. His familiar form, his digni- 
fied and genial bearing on our platform was his last tribute to woman's 
progress toward higher ideals in society, in custom and in law. 

His shadow still lingered on our portals ; his words of sympathetic 
interest in our aspirations and our hopes still echoed through the evening 
air when the summons came ; out of life iuto death he went ; out of 
death into life eternal. With reverential thought, because of this swift, 
this unannounced transition, and with solemn exultation because of the 
possible dignity of human character and human achievements, which his 
life illustrates — we bring our tribute. 


Born a slave, his human instinct drove him early to forge his way to 
freedom. Liberty secured, his robust manhood made for himself an 
heroic career of service to his kindred, to his race, to his countrj- and to 
the world. The tenderness of a refined nature sweetened his family life 
and ennobled his personal friendships. In the army of progress he was 
the trusted comrade and the respected leader of men and women, living 
and dead, whom the years more and more will understand and honor. 

He was a student of books, of men, and of institutions. He wrote 
with clearness and force ; he spoke with eloquence and power. 

The woman movement found in him a friend and champion. His sense 
of justice and his soul of honor made their cause his own. He urged 
and aided the enlargement of their opportunities for education, for indus- 
trial independence, and for political equality. He believed the quality 
of woman's service would be as helpful to the government as it had been 
blessed in the home. 

He stood for temperance, and purity and religion, and personified the 
virtues he exalted. 

In him the hopes of his race were realized ; in him humanity was dig- 
nified. The world is poorer because he is gone ; humanity is richer 
because he came. The legacy of his life and service attests the truth 
that God keepeth watch above His own, that He shall turn and overturn 
until injustice dies, and the right eternally triumphs. 

May Wright Sewell, 
Susan B. Anthony, 
Lillian M. N. vStevens, 
Margaret Ray Wickens, 
J. Ellen Foster, 
Rev. .\nnie HovirARD Shaw, 
Emily Rowland. 

The General A.ssembly of Illinois. 

Reiolved, By the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring 
therein, that the General Assembly of Illinois has learned, with sorrow, 
of the death of Frederick Douglass, the great editor, orator and liberator, 
who, by his own efforts and industry, transformed himself from the 
condition of a slave, to the estate of a freeman ; from an ignorant boy to 
an intelligent man and one of the leaders of the world's thought. 
Recognizing that he contributed largely to the final overthrow of the 
slave system in the United States and the enlargement of theories and 
practices of a free government and the liberties of its citizens, the 
General Assembly of the State of Illinois recognizes his high character 
as a citizen and pays tribute to his memory. 
Passed February 21, 1895. 


The Staff of Providence Hospital, Baltimore, Md. 

Baltimore, Md., February 21, 1S95. 
To Honorable Mrs. Frederick Douglass; 

Whereas, We, the undersigned, members of the staff of Providence 
Hospital, of this city, have this morniii}^ heard with profound sorrow, of 
the death of your husband, the Honorable Frederick Douglass; therefore 
Resolved, That we tender to you, his widow, our sincere sympathy and 
condolence, and hope that the same Divine Providence which succored 
and aided him through his stormy voyage of life, may continue with you^ 
and be helpful \.o you, in every trial. 

Reverdy M. Hall, M. D., 
Charles H. Fowler, M. D., 
W. H. Thompson, M. D., 
I<. D. Dyer, M. D., 
J. Marcus Cargill, M. D. 

A Memorial Meeting at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Peoria, 
111., February 21, i?95, unanimouslj' adopted the following 
in honor of Mr. Douglass : 

Inasmuch as death has suddenly removed from our midst our highly 
esteemed, much-beloved, famous citizen, statesman, friend and brother, 
Frederick Douglass, in advanced years, but apparently in the vigor of 
perfect health; in the crowning glory and success of his cherished duties; 
in the unfeigned love of a large and rapidly increasing circle of friends 
(world-wide); and in the unsullied respect and confidence of all races; 
therefore, be it 

Resolved, That we have received, with the most profound sorrow, the 
announcement of his death. 

Resolved, That we have lost one whose presence and memory we shall 
ever be proud to recall; an active and zealous member of our race; an 
honor to our country; a fearless advocate of liberty and equal rights for 
all men of all races and nations; the leader and defender of the negro 
race in this and other lands; the prime cause of negro soldiers enlisting to 
support the LTnion; the companion and supporter of John Brown; the real 
hero of America, standing easily head and shoulders above any man 
living or dead, in the advocacy of his people. 

Resolved, That the nation has reason to bow in humble sorrow at the 
loss of a noble and exemplary citizen, a faithful friend and advocate of 
the Union; a statesman, author, orator, diplomat, and an ornament to his 
race, a credit to his country, an honor to .\merica, and a fit example of 
morality, — a worthy father, husband and friend. 


Resolved, That we deeply sympathize with the grief-stricketi family of 
the deceased, and assure them of the sincere fellow-feeling of all who 
know of their sad affliction. 

Resolved, That a copy of these rescjlutions be sent the family of the 
deceased, and also be furnished the city press, for publication. 

Temperance Industrial and Collegiate Institute, 
Claremont, Va. 

WhkrEaS, We have, with great sorrow, been to-day notiGed that it has 
pleased Almighty God to call from labor to reward the Honorable 
Frederick Douglass, the late Recorder of Deeds in the District of 
Columbia ; and 

Whereas, The said Mr. Douglass was undoubtedly the greatest man 
of his age, and always a speaker for, and an honor to, tlie negro race to 
which he belonged ; and 

Whereas, We, as young students of the Temperance Industrial and 
Collegiate Institute, looked upon Mr. Douglass as the greatest man of his 
age ; and 

Whereas, We look upon his work as an honor to all young negroes 
and Americans ; therefore be it 

Resolved, That we tender to his devoted wife our heartfelt sympathy. 
Resolved, That we request our president, John J. Smallwood, if possi- 
ble, to represent us, as well as himself, at the funeral of our race's dis- 
tinguished dead. 

Resolved, That, in the death of the Hon. Frederick Douglass, our race 
has lost its greatest orator, statesman and leader ; and the nation the 
greatest man of his day and generation. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to Mrs. Douglass 
and family. 

M. E. Coleman, 

Elnora Brown, 

W. R. Wright, 

John L. Wvatt, Chairman, 

E. J. Overly, Seeretaiy, 

February 21, 1S95. 

F.\cuLTY AND Students of Storer College, Harper's 
Ferry, Va. 
The following resolution was most heartily adopted by the 
faculty and students of Storer College, on February 22, 1895: 
Resolved, That in the death of the late Honorable Frederick Doug- 
lass, we recognize the fact that a "great man has fallen," and, as an 


institution, we wish to pay our tribute of appreciation and affection to 
his memory. 

He was great in the wealth of a noble character, broad principles and 
true ideas of liberty, that made him akin to a common humanity. 

Thus he best served one race and people, by defending the rights of all 

One of his latest expressions was in sympathy with Storer College and 
the assurance of a service that death prevented his rendering. 

The Robert G. Shaw Veteran Association of 
Boston, Mass. 

Whereas, It has pleased God, the Almighty Ruler of the Universe, 
to remove from this life, Frederick Douglass, the greatly esteemed leader 
of the negro race ; the champion and defender of the oppressed, and a 
true representative of the black race, in its onward march to greater 
freedom and advanced culture ; and 

Whereas, The death of such a leader and defender is a great grief, 
not only to the members of the negro race, but also to thousands of Cau- 
casian extraction in this country and in the countries on the other side 
of the Atlantic ; therefore, be it 

Resolved, That, as members of the Robert G. Shaw Veteran Associa- 
tion, we take this, our earliest opportunity, to record our appreciation of 
the late Frederick Douglass, as a citizen and as a co-worker with such 
eminent advocates of liberty, as Garrison, Sumner and Wendell Phillips. 
Resolved, That we hereby tender to the family and relatives of the 
deceased, to whom his death is a severe alHiction, the condolence of our 
sympathetic hearts in their bereavement. 

Ordered, That a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to the widow 
of the departed, as an evidence of the sympathy of this command. 
John D. N. R. Powell, Sr. 
John H. Tillman, Lieutenant. 
Bdrrill Smith. 

George Washington, Sergeant. 
W. D. Fowler, 

George Goler, Color Sergeant. 
George W. Cross, Sergeant-Major. 
Major Wesley J. Furlong, Commander. 
D. Miles, Captain, Company "A." 
Adopted February 22, 1S95. 

The West End Auxiliary Club, of Chicago, III. 

Whereas, The sad intelligence reaches us from Washington, D. C, 
that the Honorable Frederick Douglass, the foremost negro of his race, 
bas been summoned to his eternal rest ; and 


Whereas, In his death, humanity loses a great friend; his couutrj-, a 
great national character; the Republican party, a safe counsellor; and his 
race, a strong advocate; therefore be it 

Resolved, That we, the oflScers and members of the West End Auxiliary 
Club, of the Third Ward of Chicago, 111., do greatly deplore his death, 
acknowledge his purity of character, his sterling worth, and his illustrious 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be forthwith sent to the 
bereaved family. 

A. H. Roberts, President. 
K. B. Hali., Secretary. 
Adopted February 22, 1895. 

The Frederick Douglass Literary Association. 
Baltimore, Md., February 22, 1895. 

At a called meeting of the Frederick Douglass Literary 
Association, of Baltimore, convened to take action of its 
sorrow on the sad announcement of the translation of the 
Honorable Frederick Douglass, from his earthly labors to 
his ineffable reward, Thomas I. Hall, president of the 
association, made feeling mention of his translation, and 
the following resolution was, on motion of Mary L. Butler, 
unanimously adopted and ordered to be transmitted to the 
bereaved family: 

Mrs. Frederick Douglass. 

Madam : In the presence of overshadowing sorrow, we, at the behest 
of a large and growing organization, reverently lay before you its sympa- 
thetic testimonial, in mournful appreciation of the bereavement that has 
fallen upon you, upon us, and upon the community. With painful satis- 
faction we discharge this trust. 

Accept this testimonial as the sincere expression of our earnest feelings 
of the community's irreparable loss in the translation of Honorable 
F'rederick Douglass. 

"A great man has fallen in Israel." When Death would make a 
startling and profound impression, he selects a shining mark for his 

He has stricken down a giant whose colo.ssal proportions towered as 
possibly the foremast figure of the African race. He was a giant of won- 
derful powers, which he controlled by unerring judgment and benign 


philanthropy; sought exercise in doing good, harming none, and causing 
blossoms to spring where'er he trod. 

Justice, in judgment and actions, kept pace with his vast powers; and, 
what might be deemed the brightest gem of character, he arose from the 
depths of African slavery to exalted American citizenship. 

We have never failed to receive the encouraging smile of his approval 
in all our efforts at moral and social elevation, and to-day our race 
mourns a true and tried friend, laid low. Verily, " A prince has fallen in 
Israel! " In solemn sorrowing, with bowed heads and reverent steps, our 
mourning millions approach and crave leave to lay the laurel wreath on 
the honored tomb of departed worth. 

Resolved, That, as a mark of our respect, a committee be appointed to 
attend the funeral of Honorable Frederick Douglass, and that a copy of 
this resolution and its accompanying letter, be transmitted to his family 
and entered on the journal. 

Thomas I. Hall, President. 

Samuel W. Ockmey, Chaplain. 

Mary L. Butler, Treasurer. 

WiLLLAM F. Hall, Secretary. 

The Central Tennessee College, 
Nashville, Tenn. 
At a meeting of the faculty and students of Central 
Tennessee College, held in the College chapel, Feb- 
ruary 22, 1895, the following resolutions were unanimously 
adopted : 

Whereas, The hand of Divine Providence has removed from this 
world and the busy cares of life. Honorable Frederick Douglass, of 
Washington, D. C. ; and 

Whereas, We, the faculty and students of Central Tennessee College, 
recognizing the irreparable loss sustained by his family and the race, and 
desiring to express our deep appreciation of the many and lasting obliga- 
tions we owe to him, by words and outward tokens ; and also to extend 
our sincere condolence to the bereaved family ; and 

Whereas, His life and character have been such as deserve the highest 
emulation of young Americans ; therefore be it 

Resolved, That we set apart a day upon which to commemorate the 
life and deeds of this illustrious American. 

Resolved, That the school be suspended between the hours of eleven 
and twelve, in honor of our deceased benefactor. 

Resolved, That we tenderly condole with the family of our deceased 
citizen, in this their hour of trial and affliction, and devoutly commend 


them to Him who looks with compassion upon the widowed and father- 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the family of the 
deceased, and to the various newspapers. 

E. S. Foreman, 

President of Committee. 
John H. Brown, Secretary. 
E. S. Foreman, 
jNo. H. Brown, 


J. M. Thomas, 
T. G. EwiNG, Jr., 
Mattie a. Carr, 
Rosa McDonald, 
Prof. M. W. Dogan, 
Prof. H. W. Byrd, 


The City Council of Rochester, N. Y. 

Resolved, That we do hereby tender to the family and relatives of 
Honorable Frederick Douglass our sympathy in their afHiction, and that 
our memorial be spread upon the minutes of this Council, and that a 
copy of it and of these resolutions be sent to his family ; and further 

Resolved, That the family of Mr. Douglass be requested to permit his 
body to lie in state in the City Hall on the day of the funeral; and 

Resolved, That this Common Council attend the funeral services in a 

Adopted February 23, 1895. 

Theodore S. Pulver, Cle 

Howard University, Washington, D. C. 

Washington, D. C, February 25, 1895. 
Mrs. Frederick Douglass, Anacostia, D. C. 

Dear Mada»i: I have the honor to communicate to yon 
the following resolutions adopted by the Board of Trustees 
of Howard UniYersity, at a .special meeting held February 
23. 1895: 

Resolved, That in the death of Honorable Frederick Douglass, LL.D. , 
the Trustees of this University have lost the most remarkable of their 
number ; a man singular in the humility of his origin, as well as in his 


wonderful career as an orator and public man ; a man recognized and 
honored b>- two continents of the Anglo-Saxon race ; the acknowledged 
representative and leader of the Afro-American race, in richness of 
intellectual endowment and wisdom ; and the emphatic and lasting dis- 
proof of the theorj- that men and women of African extraction cannot 
stand unchallenged among the great ones of the earth. 

Resolved, That we put on record our sense of the value of the services 
of Mr. Douglass as a member of this board, and of the dignity and inspi- 
ration of his counsel ; and that, as an expression of the recognition of our 
loss and the loss of the country by his death, we, as a body, attend his 
funeral services, and delegate Honorable John Eaton, ex-Commissioner 
of Education, and the Reverend F. J. Grimke, to accompany the remains 
to Rochester, N. Y. 

Resolved, That this action be recorded in our minutes as a corporation, 
and communicated to the widow and other relatives of the deceased, for 
whom, in their affliction, we have sympathy, the deepest and most 

With great respect I am yours, etc., 

J. B. Johnson, Secretary. 

A Mass Meeting of colored citizens of St. Joseph, Mo., 
adopted the following resolutions on Febniary 25, 1895: 

Whereas, It has pleased the great Giver of life to summons from the 
walks of men the great freeman, statesman, orator and diplomat, 
Frederick Douglass, and 

Whereas, We stand here, a stricken people, at the imaginary bier of 
the champion of our rights and liberties ; and 

Whereas, With wounded hearts and anguished spirits, we have 
assembled to do honor to the great liberator and statesman who, by his 
own efforts and industry, transformed himself from the condition of a 
slave to that of a freeman ; from that of an uncultured and unlettered 
boy to an intelligent man without a peer in the world of thought and 
action, therefore be it 

Resolved, That iu the recognition of the fact that he contributed 
largely to the overthrow of slavery in the United States and to the 
emancipation of thought and speech ; to the enlargement of the theory 
and practice of free government, and to the personal liberties of the 
negro citizens of St. Joseph, a part of the beneficiaries of his life's labors, 
and realizing that in his fall the whole race has lost a champion and the 
nation one of its most devoted patriots ; therefore be it 

Resolved, That, although the whole race rests in the shadow of the 
deepest sorrow and most poignant grief, and our hearts are torn with 
the sense of our bereavement, we bow humbly to Heaven's decree, trust- 
ing that we shall meet him in a land where conflicts are unknown and 


where sorrows never come. During the various vicissitudes through 
which this people have passed ; in the midnight of their struggles for 
liberty and a foothold among the races, as well as in the approaching 
triumph of the new era, Frederick Douglass, the fallen chieftain of 
Africa's race, always stood in the vanguard of duty fighting the battles 
of his people ; therefore be it 

Resolrcd, That we, the negro race of America, suffer, by his death, 
an irreparable loss. He labored under great dilEculties and discourage- 
ments never fulh' appreciated, often misunderstood ; yet patiently he 
labored in what he considered the path of duty. Steadfastly he clung to 
u.s, sharing in our labors and suffering in our discouragements ; and 
now. Heaven has called him, full of years and crowned with the appro- 
bation of the world. 

Ki'solivd, That we look beyond our present grief to the Hand which 
rules and controls the destinies of men, learning the lesson of devotion 
to duty. The lesson taught is impressive and should be seriously con- 
sidered. Our best days, and not merely our last hours, belong to God. 
Amidst the cares of State, the earnest pursuits of business and the general 
rush of life, He holds His unyielding claim upon us. Whatever the 
world may demand of us, we belong, in a paramount sense, to Him. 
This was the great success of Frederick Douglass' long years and multi- 
plied successes. He translated this lesson into a practical experience. 

Rfsolzed, That the young men of this country have, in the life of 
Frederick Douglass, a most brilliant example of moral purity, setting 
forth the benefits that surely follow a consistent Christian effort in the 
cause of social advancement and spiritual progress. His life was of such 
a character as to merit all the demonstrations called forth by his death. 

Resolved, That we extend to the bereaved family our heartfelt con- 
dolence and sympathy in this their loss, assuring them that we shall ever 
cherish the name and memory of the late Honorable Frederick Douglass. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to the family 
of the deceased, and also furnished the metropolitan dailies and Weekly 
Minoi of our cit}-. 

ISA.^c Frederick, Chairman. 
Ch-^vrles S. Hdnter, Secretary. 
J. M. Trent, 
Prof. J. H. Simms, 
H.\RRV Robinson. 

The colored citizens of Marshall, Mo., adopted, February 
25, 1895, the following: 

Resolved, That we have learned with deep sorrow of the death of Hon- 
orable Frederick Douglass, the great editor, orator and liberator, who, by 
his own eflforts and industry, transformed himself from the condition of a 


slave to the state of a free man; a man who always fought for the rights 
of his race. 

Resolved, That Frederick Douglass was one of the leaders of the 
world's best thoughts. Recognizing that he contributed largely to the 
final overthrow of the slave system in the United States, and to the en- 
largement of the theory and practice of a free government and the 
liberties of a citizen, the colored citizens of Marshall, Mo., remember 
his high character as a citizen and pay tribute to his memory. 

He absorbed the good only to diffuse it in a thousand fold. He seemed 
to have been conceived in the womb of Liberty, rocked in the cradle of 
Freedom, and he found his workshop in the broad field of human eman- 
cipation. He sought the good and he condemned the bad. He breathed 
the air and sunlight of freedom, and he declared and decreed that all men 
should enjoy the fruits of personal liberty. 

He was good in spite of the gods of the earth; religious in spite of 
creeds, and moral in spite of vice. The world came to be his home, and 
to do good was his religion. No one was so humble but that he was 
below them, and none were so exalted but that he towered majestically 
above them. His .sympathies were with his race. His withering frown 
gazed down on the tyrant. From every wrinkle on his benevolent face 
burst forth well-springs of love for his race. 

Resolved, That although Frederick Douglass is dead, yet he will live in 
the hearts of his race. The emancipation of the mind and body of man 
was delivered to him as one of the leaders, and as an everlasting gift. 
All this because Frederick Douglass lived, and with his death he made 
secure all these gifts and sealed them as everlasting trophies to all 
human kind. 

Resolved, That no people ever lived who owed as much gratitude to one 
man as our people owe to Frederick Douglass. Call for no proof. It is 
gratifying to know that our dear people appreciate the acts of that great 
and grand old man, Frederick Douglass. 

Resolved, That this meeting send a copy of these resolutions to the 
family of the late Honorable Frederick Douglass. 

Colonel A. A. Jones, Chainnan. 

Rev. Harrison Green, 

Rev. Daniel Hawkins, 

Henry S. Smith, 

Lewis Presley, 

Talton Robinson, 

Miss Nellie Brown, 

Miss Delia Hawkins, 

Miss Sadie Bush, 

Douglass Murray, 

George Murray, 

Committee on Resolutions. 

frederick douglass. 107 

The Emancipation Association of the District of 
The following resolutions were passed by the Associa- 
tion, February 25, 1895 ■ 

Whereas, The Supreme Ruler has called from our midst one whose 
services as a leader will be remembered eternally by the Emancipation 
Association of the District of Columbia, therefore be it 

Resolved, That in the death of Honorable Frederick Douglass the 
A fro- American race has sustained an irreparable loss, and the country a 
man of pure character and of patriotic devotion to all of its interests. 

Resolved, That the emancipation societies in all the States be requested 
to set aside a day in their respective States for memorial services upon the 
life and character of the deceased as a great instrumentality in the eman- 
cipation of his race. 

Resolved, That the Emancipation Association of the District of Colum- 
bia be requested to meet on Friday, April 12, in such place as the Presi- 
dent shall hereafter name, to conduct such ser\-ices. 

Resolved, That, as a mark of sympathy, a copy of these resolutions 
be furnished the relatives of the deceased. 

Mr. George W. Stewart offered the following amendment : 

Resolved, That all societies, both military and civic, of the District of 
Columbia, are hereby requested to wear a badge of mourning for the 
period of sixty days, in commemorating the dead statesman and 
acknowledged leader of the colored race, and the " Gladstone of a strug- 
gling people." 

The Colored American League, of Cheyenne, Wyo. 

Cheyenne, Wyo., February 25, 1895. 
Mrs. Frederick Douglass, Cedar Hill, Anacostia, D. C. 
Dear Madam : I am directed by the Colored American 
League, of the city of Cheyenne, State of Wyoming, to 
forward you and Mr. Douglass' family, the enclosed pre- 
amble and resolutions, which we consider only a faint 
token of our sorrow and respect for your departed husband. 
Very respectfully, 

D. D. Moore. 

Whereas, The sad news has reached the members of the Colored 
American League, of the city of Cheyenne, State of Wyoming, that God, 


in His infinite wisdom and all-wise Providence, has seen fit to remove 
from our midst here on earth, by death, Frederick Douglass, that hon- 
ored and foremost of all American citizens, the statesman, orator, diplo- 
mat, teacher, leader, husband, father and Christian, who, with the galling 
bonds of slavery once about him, yet reached that eminence and fame 
which shall ever shine as bright in the hearts of his countrymen, as the 
stars in the brilliancy of heaven. 

Resolved, That the profound admiration of the members of this league, 
herein recorded, is but a faint expression of our desire to honor, and to 
record, our appreciation of his efforts and success in the elevation and the 
protection of our every right as American citizens. 

Resolved, That we cause the foregoing preamble and these resolutions 
to be spread upon our journal, as a mark of respect. 

Resolved, That a copy of these be forwarded to the bereaved widow and 
children of the deceased. 

D. D. Moore, 
Cassie Condoi,, 
J. W. Price, 


The Academy and Industrial School at Ashe- 

Asheville, N. C, Februan- 25, 1895. 
To Mrs. Frederick Douglass and Family : 

At a memorial service held to-day, the students of the 
Academy and Industrial School, desiring to show their 
high appreciation of your illustrious husband and father, 
adopted the enclosed resolutions of sympathy and respect, 
■which they beg leave to offer to you in your hour of 

Most respectfully, yours in sympathy, 

AlsiE B. Dole, Superintendetit. 

Whereas, In the dispensation of an unerring and all-wise Providence 
we are called, in the death of Honorable Frederick Douglass, to mourn 
the departure of the chieftain of our race — the most eminent man it has 
yet produced ; therefore be it 

Resolved, That, in the death of this eloquent orator ; this honored 
statesman ; this profound scholar ; who was the chosen counselor of our 
martyred Lincoln ; we have, as a people, lost a loj-al and devoted friend ; 


one who was ever ready to fearlessly champion the cause of justice and 

licsolvcd. That, while wc bow in tearful submission to this heavenly 
mandate, we tender to the wife and family of our deceased leader our 
deepest sympathy and condolence in their bereavement. 

Resolved, That, recognizing the grandeur and dignity of his character, 
and the high attainments he had reached, as citizen, orator, scholar and 
statesman, and that, with true heroism and the invincible courage of a 
great cause, he had, amidst adverse circumstances, won his place among 
the honored of the earth ; we, as students, find in his success, a realiza- 
tion of the possibilities that are open to us, and are stimulated by his 
example to loftier ideal and greater effort, and to strive to make of our 
lives also, " one grand, sweet song," and to leave behind us the benedic- 
tion of a well-spent life. 

A. Cl,ARK, 

Etn.v R. Holderness, 
Zui.A R. Pope, 
Maggie Greeni,ee, 
Ella J. Edgarton. 

The Kansas State Protective Home A.ssociation 
AND W. T. C. U. 

At a joiut session of these bodies, held in Leavenworth, 
Kas., February 25, 1895, the following were adopted : 

Whereas, Our Heavenly Father has, in His all-wise Providence, 
permitted the removal, by death, of our noble statesman, benefactor and 
representative, and we are therefore made to mourn, as never before, for 
one of our race whose peer among us is yet to be found ; 

Whereas. He canvassed, in his broad mind, the true conditions of all 
people, impartially encouraging justice and liberty as a safeguard to all 
true happiness, thereby making himself our chief benefactor ; therefore 
be it 

Resolved, That no warmer friend to the great reforms conducted by the 
women of our present age, could be found, than was manifested in Mr. 
Douglass, even to the end of his life, and that, in his death, the members 
of this body have, indeed, lost a true champion ; therefore be it 

Resolved, That in the midst of our sorrow, we bow in humble submis- 
sion to our God, and say, 

" Not our will, but Thine be done ! " 

Resolved, That this message of condolence be sent to the family of the 
Honorable Frederick Douglass. 


Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be published in our home 


Mrs. S. a. Bland, 
Mrs. W. a. Townsend, 
Miss M. J. Mitchell, 


The Sturge Lodge, Independent Order of Good Tem- 
plars, Birmingham, England, adopted the following, Feb- 
ruary 25, 1895 : 

Resolved, That, having listened with feelings of deep emotion to the 
eulogy on the late and much lamented Frederick Douglass, delivered by 
the Rev. Thomas Stanford, D. D., representative of the negro race in this 
country, we, the officers and members of the Sturge Lodge, Independent 
Order of Good Templars, and visitors assembled, do hereby earnestly 
desire to express to the family of our departed brother, and the race to 
which he belonged, our deepest and heartfelt sympathy in the great loss 
which they have sustained. 

The unselfish and devoted life which he lived has for him now, we feel 
assured, a crown of everlasting glory. 

His home will always be held in sacred keeping by us and all lovers 
of liberty and truth throughout the civilized world. 

Resolved, That we further desire to say to our beloved friends in 
America, that, while we must needs share their grief and weep with 
them in their hour of affliction, we must also entreat them to .share our 
thankfulness to God for having raised up such a noble man, and also to 
bow with us in submission to Him who doeth all things well. 

Proposed by the REV. W. A. H. Babidge, 
Seconded by Sister L. Thomas, D. S. 

Supported by the REV. P. T. Stanford, D. D. 
Councillor Joseph Malins, G. C. T. 

W. H. Woodward, W. C. T. 
A. D. Ekins, Esq. 

Mass Meeting of the Colored Citizens of Knoxville, 
Tenn., convened February 26, 1895, adopted the following : 

Whereas, It has pleased Almighty God, in His all-wise Providence, 
to remove from the midst of the American people, one of its most illus- 
trious citizens and distinguished sons, in the person of the Honorable 
Frederick Douglass, who departed this life, at his home in Anacostia, 
D. C, Wednesday, February 20, 1895, and 


Whereas, The Honorable Frederick Douglass was, in his lifetime, 
the recognized leader and the ablest representative of the negro race; a 
leader who never faltered, never feared, and a representative of which 
any race might be proud; therefore, be it 

Resolved, By the colored citizens of Knoxville, Teun., in mass meeting 
assembled for the purpose of doing honor to the memory of our dis- 
tinguished leader and illustrious chieftain, that, in the death of the 
Honorable Frederick Douglass, the race has lost its greatest and grandest 
representative, and the world, one of the best and noblest types of man. 
Frederick Douglass possessed all the elements of greatness, and, in 
answer to the charge that is often made, that he was only great because 
he was a negro, we make reply that he was great despite the fact that he 
was a negro, and that, had he been a white man, he would have occupied 
the highest positions within the gift of the people, and would have been 
regarded by the American people with the same respect and veneration 
that they accord to Washington and Grant, to Lincoln and to Garfield. 
From the condition of slavery, by an indomitable will that could 
not be repressed, he became known and respected throughout the civilized 
world: and all true and fair men will do homage to his greatness, and 
regret his sad and sudden decease; and, while we realize the fact that we 
have but one Frederick Douglass, we can but hope that the same kiml 
Providence who gave us him, will raise up another, to labor and battle in 
our behalf. Be it further 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the family of the 
deceased, and to the local papers for publication. 

W. F. Yardley, Esq., 
T. Garner, M. D., 
Rev. J. R. Riley, 
Rev. G. W. Parkes, 

W. L. MAPLE.S, M. D., 

Committee on Resolutions. 

The Young Men's Foraker Club, Cleveland, Ohio, at a 
meeting held Febnian' 27, 1895, adopted the following: 

Whereas, Being moved upon by the Spirit, and the deepest sense of 
regret at the loss of one of America's brightest stars, the late Frederick 
Douglass, who was a statesman, a diplomat and a great counselor, and as 
the nation mourns his death, and the nations of the world join in sym- 
pathy with us in our bereavement, and while we as a race feel the pain 
deeper than tongue or pen can express, nevertheless, we bow to the will 
of Him who rules the destiny of nations and of mankind, remembering 
that man is mortal and all mortals must fade away; but in all this we feel 

112 IX MEilOEIAM. 

that we have lost the brightest historical figure of our race, the greatest 
national leader, and 

Whereas, The hand of Almighty God has been laid heavily upon him 
■whoui we love, and has removed from our midst the Honorable Frederick 
Douglass, who shall ever live in our meiuorj-, and ever be dear to our 
hearts, therefore be it 

Rc'soh'ed, That we ever hold him dear to us in niemorj' and in heart; 
and be it further 

Jiesolvcd, That we join in sympathy with the wife and family in this 
their hour of sad bereavement. 

Resolved, That we spread a copy of these resolutions upon our books, 
and that another copy be sent to the family. 

Yours in sympathy, 

The Young Men's Foraker Ci,ub, 
Cleveland, Ohio. 
Charles S. Gordon, President. 
J. W. Winters, Secretary. 

Citizens of Waco and Other Town.s of Texas. 
Waco, Tex., February 27, 1895. 
Mrs. Frederick Douglass and members of the bereaved 

family of a loving husband and a kind and indulgent 

father : 

We, the tmdersigued, speaking in these chosen but 
inadequate words, for the citizens of our city and of the 
many surrounding towns and cities of Texas, herewith 
extend to you our deepest sympathy in your hour of 
sorrow ; a sorrow, though overwhelming in yours, the 
hearts nearest him, is hardly more deep than in the hearts 
of the American people. 

As a mark of our sincere regret, the following resolu- 
tions were drawn up by us, in memory of the late and 
much-beloved Frederick Douglass. We know that words 
are inadequate to truly express our sorrow, but we give of 
our best : 

WfiKRKAS, On the twentieth day of February, eighteen hundred and 
ninety-five, it pleased Almighty God to remove from the walks of men. 


the Honorable Frederick Douglass, orator, statesman and diplomat, full 
of years and honor, and 

Whereas, His death is historic in importance, by reason of tie promi- 
nent place his deeds occupy in the affairs of the American people ; there- 
fore be it 

Resolved, That we, in mass meeting assembled, do feel our loss irrepar- 
able. It not only takes from the race its grandest representative, but 
from the whole American people, one of their strongest, most virtuous 
and most patriotic citizens. 

Resolved, That we recognize that, in exalted character, comprehensive 
views, courageous advocacy of human rights and liberty against peculiar 
disadvantages, and despite almost insuperable opposition, he stands in 
civic stature uncircumscribed by race or class distinction, among the few 
great men of all time. His life has wrested honor from obloquy, added 
glory to private citizenship, and made simple manhood the highest title 
of nobility. His soul responded to all the harmonies, but silently rejected 
all the discords of humanity. The broad-minded, everj'where, will acqui- 
esce in the decree of the world's court, which adjudges to every man who 
maintains a high course with power and persistence, honor and success. 
In the death of Sir. Douglass, the wife loses a loving husband, and the 
children a kind father. 

Resolved, That we extend to the bereaved family our heartfelt sympa- 
thy, and that a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to them. 
Ben. F. Wallace 
G. S. Pryce, 
H. T, Walker, 

J. H. HiNES, 

S. J. Jenkins, 

B. J. Henry, Chainnan. 

G. L. Wylie, Secntaty. 

W. L. Dorsey, Assistant Secretiiry. 

Citizens of South Charleston, Ohio, in a Town ^Meeting 
a-ssembled, February 27, 1895, adopted the following: 

Whereas, The God of the universe has, in His blessed omniscience, 
permitted the exit of our own friend, Frederick Douglass, from this world 
of toil and care, of responsibilities and accountabilities, to the world of 
rest and peace, of happiness and joy ; and 

Whereas, Though this be true, yet there are sad souls in the family, in 
States and nations, and in the world at large, by reason of the removal of 
our own Douglass from us ; therefore be it 

Resolved, That we, the undersigned, with a countless number of other 
friends and sympathizers, do hereby extend to Mrs. Douglass and the 


bereaved family, to the race of which Mr. Douglass was a member, to the 
States aud uations by which he has been so often honored and esteemed, 
both in and out of public life, and to other countries and nations who feel 
his true worth, as gentleman, orator, statesman, counselor and manly 
man, onr most profound sympathy in their and our inestimable loss in the 
decease of Honorable Frederick Douglass. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to Mrs. Douglass and 
bereaved family ; and that a copy be sent for publication to the Freeman, 
of Indianapolis, and to the 5Vh//«c/, of South Charleston, Ohio. 

Resolved, That while our hearts are filled with sorrow in view of our 
great and irreparable loss, and with sympathy for the family so suddenly 
and sorely afflicted, yet we would bow in submission, saying, " It is the 
Lord ; let Him do what seemeth to Him best ! " and " The will of the 
Lord be done ! " 

S. MoTEN, M. D., 
Joseph Reed, 
Aaron Myers, Sr., 
William Mitchell, 
John Steward, 
William White, 
George Wheatlv. 

Citizens of Helena, Arkansas, assembled in Mass Meet- 
ing, Febrnary 27, 1895, adopted the following : 

Resolved, That we stand pledged to contribute the sum of twenty-five 
dollars ($25), to be applied to the erection of a monument to the memory 
of the Honorable Frederick Douglass, which said amount we stand ready 
to forward to the proper authority, upon notice, after necessary arrange- 
ments .shall have been made for the erection of said monument. 
Henry Avant, 

Member of Commitlee. 

The Anti-Lynching League of Northern Ohio. 

Cleveland, O., February 27, 1895. 

Resolved, That we, the members of the Anti-lynching League of 
Northern Ohio, experiencing as we do, a deep sense of personal loss and 
bereavement, in the sudden and unexpected death of Frederick Douglass, 
extend to his stricken family our deepest sympathy. 

Resolved, That our country, which so long knew and so often honored 
this magnanimous man, has lost a citizen who was ever earnest and influ- 
ential in the promotion and advancement of good government, and ia 
the interest of the black people of the United States. 


Resolved, That a certified copy of these resolutions be mailed to the 
family of our deceased leader and champion, and that a copy be furn- 
ished the daily papers, with a request that the same be published. 

Rev. R. C. Ransom, President. 

S. P. BovD, Secretary. 

Citizens of Christiaxskurg and Cambria, Va. 
Christiansburg Institute, 
Cambria, Va., February 27, 1895. 
Mrs. Frederick Douglass. 

Dear Madam : Enclosed resolutions in honor of your late 
husband were passed, last night, in a Mass IMeeting held in 
memory of our beloved countryman. So faithful, so true 
was he to the interests of his race, that all mourn his 

We have the honor of being 

Yours sincerely. 

Per H. H. Thoveatt, 


Resolved, That, in the death of the late Honorable Frederick Doug- 
lass, the negro has lost sight of the brightest star in the constellation of 
his great men. Not only have the negroes lost their greatest man, but 
one of the most distinguished personages who has ever graced the 
Western Continent, is sleeping in death. 

Resolved, That, as an indefatigable laborer for the upbuilding of his 
race, and in his efforts to place the negro in his worthy and proper light 
before the criticising world, Mr. Douglass stood alone. 

Resolved, That, although his inimitable career cannot, in its fullness, 
be exemplified, his life is worthy of recognition and should be a guide 
and inspiration to those of present and future generations. 

Resolved, That we heartily and sincerely join in sympathy with his 
bereaved family, in the loss of their husband and father; and assure his 
loved ones that Mr. Douglass "is not dead, but sleepeth," and shall for- 
ever live in the hearts of his countrymen. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the wife of the 
deceased as from the people of Christiansburg and Cambria, Va. 

Resolved, That we also send a copy of these resolutions to the Colored 
American, for publication. 


The Woman's Political Equality Club, of 
Rochester, N. Y. 

Rochester, N. Y., February 27, 1895. 

Resolved, That in the transition from this mundane to an immortal 
life, of our beloved friend and advocate. Honorable Frederick Douglass, 
the cause of woman's enfranchisement, and that of humanity, have lost 
a power of almost boundless good. He was a man whose love of right 
outweighed all other interests. 

His face was set, like burnished steel, against every wrong and injustice, 
and his plea for woman's equality before the law, was, like sweet incense, 
ever rising toward Heaven; and his whole life of noble self-sacrifice aud 
generous deeds, was a bright example wortliy of all imitation. 

Resolved, That, by his life of faithfulness and integrity and never- 
failing love of justice and equality for all, he has left an undying memory, 
as Freedom's advocate, which memory we will cherish as a sacred trust, 
and as a divine benediction of priceless worth. 

Resohvd, That the Woman's Political Equality Club of Rochester, 
tenders its heartfelt sympathy to his beloved and bereaved wife and 

Harriet M. Turner, Secretary. 

Citizens of Calvert, Texas. 

A Mass Meeting of colored citizens of Calvert, Tex., held 
February 28, 1895, adopted the following: 

Whereas, It has pleased Almighty God to take from our midst our 
friend and father, advocate, orator and champion of liberty, the renowned 
and beloved Frederick Douglass, therefore be it 

Resolved, That we bow in humble submission to the will of the 
Almighty Feather, who has graciously spared to us the long and inesti- 
mable services of one of His most illustrious heirs of the Celestial King- 
dom, and that we patiently bear the loss, that he may reap the glorious 
har\'est of a long and well-spent life. 

Resolved, That we recognize m his demise the loss of one whose 
exemplary life, under the most trying ordeals, and whose sacrificing 
devotion to suffering humanity, and burning eloquence for human liberty, 
will kindle the flames of patriotic zeal in the hearts of our people through 
all generations. 

Resolved, That in his transition, the wife loses a noble and devoted 
husband, the children a kind and s)-rapathetic father, and his race and 
country a most illustrious aud patriotic citizen. 


Resolved, That we hereby extend to his bereaved family our most pro- 
found sjTupathy in this, the hour of their deepest sorrow. Well may we 
say in the language of Buel : 

Our Douglass is gone, and we are alone ; 

'Tis the debt which all mortals must pay ; 
Yet with all the sorrows our lives have known, 

We never knew grief till to-day. 

As the sun went down 'neath the hills about, 
And the shadows stole forth, as in dread, 

So the light of his life and ours went out 
And left us forlorn with our dead. 

Nearly four-score years he walked as our guide, 

As our leaning staff, all the way ; 
But the Angel oi^ Death has taken our pride. 

And what can we do but pray ? 

O, grant us. Lord, through Thy heavenly worth 

And Thy grace, so freely given. 
That so long we've journeyed together on earth 

Thou'lt receive us together in heaven. 

Farewell ! The leaf-strewn earth enfolds 
Our stay, our pride, our hopes, our fears ■ 

And winter's setting sun beholds 
A nation bowed, a world in tears. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolntions be sent to the family of the 
deceased, and to the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, the Texas Independent, 
and the Illuminator. 

E. A. Durham, M. D., 
Mrs. R. L. Scott, 
J. W. Talley, 
W. B. Patterson, 


The Ida B. Wells Woman's Club and the Frederick 
Douglass Memorial Meeting. 
Held at Quinn Chapel, Chicago, 111., Februan^ 28, 1S95. 

Whereas, It has pleased the Almighty to remove from our midst our 
beloved leader, statesman and orator, Frederick Douglass, and 

Whereas, In his death we feel that the negro race has lost its ablest 
representative ; therefore be it 

Resolved, That, while we know that he has been called from unceas- 
ing labors to well-earned rest, still we deeply mourn his loss. 

Resolved, That, in the death of Frederick Douglass, the negro race has 
lost an active and zealous worker, ever ready to assist the oppressed ; 
prompt to advance the interests of the race, at home and abroad ; devoted 


to its welfare and prosperity ; wise in council and fearless iu action in its 
behalf ; a man good, great and kind, and whose virtues endeared him, 
not only to his race, but also to all of his fellow citizens. 

Resolved, That we extend to the family of the deceased our profound 
sympathy, and that these resolutions be entered upon our minutes, and 
that a copy of them be sent to the family of the deceased. 

A. L. Harvey, Secretary. 
Mrs. R. E. Hatton, 
Mrs. H. E. Harris, 
Mrs. C. B. Henderson, 

The Cleveland Social Circle, of Cleveland, Ohio. 

Whereas, Death has removed Frederick Douglass from the scenes of 
his earthly labors and triumphs ; therefore 

Resolved, That we, the members of the Cleveland Social Circle, desire 
to express, in such degree as we may by tliis method, our appreciation 
of his life and services b}' saying that we look upon his wonderful and 
brilliant career as an inspiration to all the poor and oppressed, and as an 
incentive in the ever upward struggle which has developed all the good 
in humanity ; that we regard Mr. Douglass as one of the great men 
of American history, in courage, in eloquence and in mental equipment. 
He spoke his burning message when it required fearless courage to speak 
it. He fought the battles of an oppressed race, and, through them, the 
battles of all downtrodden humanity when the struggle seemed hope- 
less ; and he lived to rejoice iu the victory he had helped to win and to 
share in its fruits. 

Resolved, That we cherish, in our hearts, the memory of Frederick 
Douglass, and that we will hand it on to our children, as an imperishable 

Resolved, That we extend to his bereaved family our sympathy in 
the loss which we share with them, and that a copy of these resolutions 
be forwarded to them at Washington. 

Charles W. Chesnutt, 
Freeman H. Morris, 
George Vosburgh, 


Adopted February 27, 1895. 

The citizens of Springfield, Mo., in Mass Meeting assem- 
bled, February 28, 1895, adopted the following: 

Whereas, It has pleased the Supreme Ruler of the Universe to remove 
from our midst the Honorable Frederick Douglass, and 


Whereas, The relation which he sustained to the race renders it 
proper that we should place ou record our appreciation of his service as a 
leader ; therefore be it 

Resolved, That while we bow with humble submission to the will of our 
Heavenly Father, we do not the less mourn the loss of earthly friends. 

Resolved, That in the death of Krederick Douglass we lose not only a 
profound thinker, wise counselor and fearless leader, but also a brilliant 
orator, statesman, diplomat, journalist, scholar and Christian gentleman 
— a man whose many virtues endeared him not only to his own people, 
but to all his fellow citizens. 

Resolved, That the people of Springfield, Mo., tender their heartfelt 
.sympathy to the bereaved family and relatives of the deceased, and that 
a copy of these resolutions be sent to them, that they may know that we 
are not unmindful of the fact that a great man has been called from the 
stage of action to that blissful shore where all is peace, love and everlast- 
ing happiness, and be it further 

Resolved, That we pledge ourselves to assist in erecting a monument to 
the memory of him in whose honor we are here assembled. 

B. A. Hardrick, Chairman. 
Miss M. A. Herndon, Secretary. 
Mrs. J. W. Mii.i,ER, 
William Smith, 
N. R. Smith, 
Thomas Campbell, 

Coinmiitee. Ivodge, No. lo, K. of P., of St. Joseph, Mo., 
adopted the following, February 28, 1895 : 

Whereas, An all-wise and beneficent Providence has removed from 
our midst the Honorable Frederick, after having allotted to him 
more than three-score years and ten, and 

Whereas, He has removed from us a public servant of eminence an'l 
superior executive ability ; therefore 

Resolved, That in his death the nation has lost a statesman and a 
leader who always responded to duty's call and championed the cause of 
the lowly and oppressed. 

Resolved, That he was an honor to the nation and to his race, and that 
we commend the example of his exemplary life to the present and future 
ambitious youths of America, and that we are, in his life, reminded of 
the grand and sturdy oak, towering majestically .skyward while sending 
its roots deep and wide. 

Resolved, That our most profound sympathy and condolence be 
extended to the bereaved widow and family, and that we most reverently 


commend them to Him who careth for the widow and protecteth the 

Resolved, In regular convention of Syracuse Lodge, No. lo, Knights 
of Pythias, that a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to the bereaved 
widow, and that the hall of this lodge be draped for thirty days in honor 
of the lamented Frederick Douglass. 

R. H. Young, C. C. 

T. P. L.\NGDON, A'. R. and S. 

The Alumni Association of Wilberforce 

Wilberforce, C, March i, 1895. 
Mrs. Helen Douglass and Family : 

The Alumni Association of Wilberforce University, at Wilberforce, O., 
in regular mid-wdnter session assembled, appointed the undersigned com- 
mittee to express 

1. Its appreciation and cherished love for the late Honorable Frederick 
Douglass as a man of world-wide renown, superior intellect, powerful 
eloquence, worthy integrity, dignified bearing, moral refinement and 
Christian influence. 

2. Its admiration for his forceful efforts to free the human slave, his 
ardent advocacy of the cause of the American negro, and the tribute of 
honor and credit he gave to his race by honorably representing our gov- 
ernment at posts of trust and glory while at home and before courts abroad. 

3. Its reverence for the edifying influence of his whole life, because he 
was a man and inspired all toward manliness. 

To the family we assure our deepest sympathy, and ask to share the 
sorrow occasioned by the death of its head — the sage of Anacostia. 
Very respectfully. 

The Alumni Association op 

Wilberforce University. 
Henry Y. Arnett, B. S., Chairman. 
Elizabeth L. Jackson, A. B., 
William A. Anderson, A. B., 

Committee on Resolutions. 

David Hunter Post, No. 9, G. A. R., Beaufort, vS. C. 

Whereas, We have received with profound sorrow the intelligence of 
the death of the Honorable Frederick Douglass ; therefore 

Resolved, That it is meet that we pause in our labors and testify our 
sense of the worth and our appreciation of the character of the departed 
leader of the race. 


Resolved, That we extend to the afflicted family our heartfelt sym- 
pathy iu this their hour of deep distress, and that we commend them to 
the all-wise God for support. 

Resolved, That these resolutions be spread on the minutes of this 
meeting, that a copy be sent to the bereaved family, and also a copy, for 
publication, to the papers of our town. 

Richard Washington, Commander. 
Edward Wai.i,ace, Adjutant. 
Adopted March i, 1895. 

Citizens of Worcester, Mass. 

Worcester, Mass., March i, 1895. 
Mrs. Frederick Douglass. 

Dear Madam : On Sunday, February 24, 1895, the col- 
ored citizens of Worcester, Mass., in Mass Meeting assem- 
bled, at Zion A. M. E. Church, called to take action on 
the death of the late Honorable Frederick Douglass, 
adopted unanimously, the following resolutions : 

Whereas, Honorable Frederick Douglass, a member and leader of our 
race, has been removed by death, from our midst, therefore be it 

Resolved, That, by his death, we have lost a worthy leader whose wise 
counsel, extensive knowledge and courteous manner won universal admi- 
ration and esteem, therefore 

Resolved, That the sympathy of the colored people of Worcester, in 
Mass Meeting assembled, be conveyed to the widow and family of our 
deceased friend and leader, committing them, in this hour of their bereave- 
ment, to the kindly consolation of Him who doeth all things well. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to the widow 
and family, and published iu the daily papers. 

F. Jones, 
Co)responding Secretary. 

The City Council of Cambridge, Mass. 

City of Cambridge, Mass., 
Clerk's Office, March 9, 1895. 
Mrs. Frederick Douglass, Anacostia, D. C. 

Dear Madam : I have the honor to transmit herewith a 
copy of the resolutions unanimously adopted by the City 

122 7.V MEMORIAM. 

Council of this city, in expression of its respect and 
esteem for the memory of your husband, the late Honor- 
able Frederick Douglass. 

Sincerely yours, 

City Clerk. 
In Common Council. 

City of Cambridge, March 5, 1895. 
Resolved, That the City Council of the city of Cambridge has learned 
with profound sorrow of the death of Mr. Frederick Douglass who de- 
parted this life on the twentieth day of February last. 

He was the distinguished friend and advocate of human freedom and a 
champion of the civil and political equality of American citizenship, 
and, since his escape from slavery, to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 
fifty years ago, he has enlisted the admiration and appreciation of all true 
lovers of liberty. 

Resolved, That the City Council extends its sincere sympathy to the 
family of this late illustrious citizen, and that a copy of these resolutions, 
properly attested, be forwarded by the City Clerk, to the family of the 

Concurred, March 5, 1S95. 

Approved, March 6, 1895. 
A true copy. 


W. W. Pike, 

City Clerk. 

Citizens of Harper's Ferry, W. Va. 

Harper's Ferry, W. Va., March 2, 1895. 
The committee appointed by the citizens of Harper's 
Ferry, to draft resolutions relative to the late Honorable 
Frederick Douglass, prepared the following : 

Whereas, It has pleased Almighty God to remove from our midst, 
the Honorable Frederick Douglass, and 

Whereas, We, the people of Harper's Ferry, feel that the said Fred- 
erick Douglass was the greatest orator and .statesman of our race, and one of 


the leacjiug American diplomats; and that he spent his life in the service of 
the people, doing much to ameliorate their condition and to procure their 
liberty ; therefore be it 

/^i-sohvd. That we extend to the relatives of said Frederick Douglass, 
our heartfelt sympathy for their irreparable loss, and that we mourn for 
him as the friend of his people and the father of their liberty. 

Resolved, That, in his death, his family loses an affectionate husband 
and father, the colored race a bold defender, the nation a great statesman, 
and the world a man. 

Miss Florence Lovett, 
J. Ed. Robinson, 
Miss Fannie L. We.wer, 
William .\. .^ster, 
Prof. H. Hatter, 
Miss Ella V. Smith, 


Benjamin Stone, Jr.,, No. 68, G. A. R., 
DoRciiE-STER, Mass. 

Whereas, The Almighty Father, in His infinite wisdom, has seen fit 
to bring to a sudden close, the eventful and useful career of our esteemed 
countryman, the Honorable Frederick Douglass; and 

Whereas, While we bow in humble submission to this event of over- 
ruling Providence, we deeply feel the loss, and 

Whereas, We, the members of Benjamin Stone, Jr., Post No. 68, 
G.A.R., did,at a recent meeting, vote unanimously, to invite the Honorable 
Frederick Douglass to visit our city and deliver an oration before our 
post, on next Memorial day, now, therefore, be it 

Resolved, By the Benjamin Stone, Jr., I'ost No. 68, Department Massa- 
chusetts, G. A. R., that in the death of tlie Honorable Frederick Doug- 
lass, the curtain falls upon the life of an esteemed friend and fellow 
citizen, whose services in our behalf of freedom, equal rights, temperance 
and national honor, will cause his name to be gratefully sung, by gen- 
erations yet unborn. 

Resolved, That his manly struggle against the disadvantages of birth ; 
his fearless opposition to the institution of slavery, and his hearty co- 
operation in all the reforms of his time, make him worthy the grateful 
plaudits of the people of every land where liberty is dear, and national 
honor sacred. 

Resolved, That he was raised up to be a talisman to his race, to lead 
them out of bondage, even as Moses lead the Israelites, and that the cir- 
cumstances of his birth, his knowledge of the institution of slavery, and 
his great natural abihty, mark him as one sent as a special messenger to 
his people. 


Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the widow and 
family of the deceased, assuring them of our esteem and of our condo- 
lence, in this late trying dispensation of Providence, 

William H. Dupree, 

J. Ripley Morse, 

H. P. Oakman, 
Chairman Memorial Day Committee. 
Adopted March 4, 1895. 

Fourth Ward Republican Club, of Raleigh, N. C. 

Raleigh, N. C, March 5, 1895. 
Mrs. Frederick Douglass, Anacostia, D. C. 

Dear Madam: At a regular meeting of the Fourth 
Ward Republican Club, of this city, some of the members 
of which were personally acquainted with your distin- 
guished husband, and all of us loved him, — the accompa- 
nying resolutions were unanimously adopted. 
Very respectfully yours, 

B. Bowes, Sea-clary. 

Whereas, The Great and Supreme Ruler of the Universe has, in His 
infinite wisdom, removed from earth one of the most prominent citizens 
of this Republic, that worthy and esteemed patriot, the Honorable Fred- 
erick Douglass ; and 

Whereas, Frederick Douglass did, in his own life, embody the phil- 
osophy of the injunction, " Go, teach the hands to work, the mind to 
think, and the heart to love," it is eminently fitting that we record our 
appreciation of him ; therefore 

Resolved, That the vrisdom and ability which he exercised during the 
twenty years preceding the war, through his own papers, the North 
Star, and the one bearing his own name, and in teaching from abolition- 
ist platforms the great truth that a slave had a mind worth educating and 
fitting for liberty, did, with his efforts after the war, help to keep alive 
the idea that a colored man, whether free or slave, is capable of intellec- 
tual development, and moral and social progress. 

Resolved, That the sudden removal of such a life leaves a shadow on 
our hearts, and in the world a vacancy which will be deeply realized by 
all the liberty -loving people of this great country, and which will prove a 
serious loss to the public. 


Resolved, That with deep sympathy with the bereaved relatives of the 
deceased, we express our hope that even so great loss to us all may be 
overruled for good, by Him who doeth all things well. 

The Fourth Ward Republican Ci.ub, 

B. Bovi'ES, Secretary. 

Citizp:ns of Amkricus, Ga. 

Americus, Ga., March 5, 1895. 
Hon. Mr.s. Fr?:derick Douglass, Washington, D. C. 

Dear Madam : As chairman and secretary of the com- 
mittee, we have the honor to herewith enclose to you a 
copy of the resolutions adopted by and at a large and sor- 
rowing mass meeting of our best people, in this city, Wed- 
nesday evening, February 27th. 

Sincerely trusting that you have been enabled, by 
divine grace and the great love of the nation for you and 
your distinguished husband, to hold up under the trying 
ordeal through which you have been called to pass, in his 

We beg to remain, in great respect, 

J. H. DiSMUKES, Attorn ey-at-Law, 

A. Lincoln Smith, M. D., 


Whereas, Frederick Douglass, our Moses, has been taken by God, 
from the sacred mountain whither he was ever in quest of laws and the 
will of heaven for the guidance and protection of his race ; our Solon has 
disappeared, never to return ; our Douglass is dead ; and 

Whereas, If we dared to contemplate his removal from a human 
standpoint alone, Afro-Americans would be, of all people, the most 
bereft and wretched. But we are religious in sentiment and in creed, as 
a race, and we trust that we are religious by individual experience, pro- 
fession and practice. 

Since our advent upon this Western continent, our God has, often and 
long, suffered the chastening rod of affliction to lacerate the soul and 
body of our race. This night our hearts are bleeding and our heads are 
bowed in sorrow and deepest condolence. A race less religious than ours 
would hang their harps on the willows in the midst thereof, and exclaim, 
" How shall we sing the Lord's song, in a strange land ? " 


But amidst all our woes and distraction, as a race and as single persons, 
we still love and praise the Lord. We do not question His divine 
wisdom, His power. His goodness or His edicts, as they affect the affairs 
of races and of nations. 

He who, in this month seventy-eight (78) years ago, gave to the negro 
race and to the world, this man, and surcharged his soul and nature with 
such abundant gifts of heavenly power, unquestionably had the right to 
call him hence, and that same power can, and will raise up another, and 
many more, to carry to completion his people's cause. 

When a slave, Douglass questioned the right of God and of man to 
continue his condition as such. He reasoned with God, face to face, 
about the right, divine or constitutional, of an earthly master to subjugate 
him, body and soul. He condemned the men and the system which 
reduced him and his race to the degradation of bondsmen, and challenged 
God to harmonize its wickedness with His pleasure. His justice and His 
goodness. While Patrick Henry said, "Give me liberty, or give me 
death !" our hero acted upon the principle, " I will take liberty ! Death 
be damned !" 

While yet a slave, he sought to awaken to their condition the interest 
of his fellow slaves ; and when he fled from bondage he began, and never 
ceased, to agitate with pen, tongue and action, in appeals to the Christian 
conscience of the North, the nation, and the world, to liberate his 

On the subject of liberty, he opened the blinded eyes of this whole 
nation, and enlightened the intelligence of mankind the world over. 
His great life and his works and deeds crystallized into a rod more 
magical than ancient Egypt's ; more powerful than that of Moses', and 
struck a rock in the Southern wilderness from which leaped a stream 
of liberty that shall flow throughout this nation and the continents 
of the world. 

While a fugitive, an exile and an outlaw, his eloquent voice and earnest 
plea for freedom was heard the world around, as, from the rostrums 
of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, he belched forth his philippics 
and anathemas against the system of Southern slavery. 

Douglass was not only great in his peculiar power of eloquent speech, 
but he was brave and commanding in person, standing six feet and large 
in proportion ; dignified in bearing and exceptionally gentle and polished 
in manners. He was just, even to his enemies, and loft:y in all things. 
He was never known to turn his back upon the foe, even though he 
fought against great odds, as with the mob in Indiana. 

He was wise and conservative in counsel, cool, logical and sweeping iH 
debate ; pure, beautiful, lofty and prolific as a writer and as a patriot, in 
the love he bore his country and his people, he easily takes rank with the 
greatest of any age or country. As a leader, counselor, guide and 
defender of his race, he was unswerving, uncompromising, pure and 
incorruptible ; and he was ever watchful in its defence against the 


attacks of the enemy, let them come as Uiey would, through the press, 
the rostrum, or the halls of national legislation. 

Douglass was the honored, valued and equal associate of that galaxy 
of great spirits, Garrison, Lincoln, Greeley, Sumner, Beecher, John 
Brown, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and other agitators who precipitated the 
war, the results of which purged the nation of slavery, and united it 
forever. Though these are great men and women in the niches of Fame's 
temple, the name and portrait of Douglass must rest and poise above 
them all. 

He was for war, and helped to carry it on. His aiivice and coun.sel 
inspired Lincoln to pen, sign and give wings to the great Emancipation 
Proclamation. When peace came, he urged the Christian church and 
the philanthropists of the North to educate his people in the South. 
He was our greatest, purest, most constant, and often our only 
advocate at the bar of the world. He only could demand a decent 
and respectful hearing with the powers. He was the only negro on the 
globe to whom men on earth, angels in heaven, and devils in hell, would 

He came among us and taught us to love and to remain in the South, 
and to become progressive, manly and virtuous. His life was pure, 
moral and religious. His words and works are an inspiration to our 
youth and a joy to our aged. His memory is sacred, and shall live, the 
unfading and undying heritage of our race. 

No people who can produce a Douglass need despair. His hfe, his 
struggles and his achievements shall be the standard of our race, and 
through their inspiration it .shall rise ; therefore 

Resolved, That we, the citizens of Sumter County, Georgia, in Ameri- 
cus assembled, do revere, honor and count mo,st dear and sacred 
to us and to our race, the life, struggles and achievements in behalf of 
himself and of the race ; in behalf of the oppressed of every land, 
and in behalf of the cause of truth, justice and liberty, of our greatest, 
purest and noblest leader, the Honorable Frederick Douglass, late of 
Anacostia, D. C. 

Resolved, That from a human consideration his race suffers in his death 
a most sore and irreparable loss ; but we bow to the wisdom and good- 
ness of God, and trust to His divine mercy to vouchsafe to our race the 
full and holy fruition of all the truth and justice for which our late 
leader so ably labored and contended during his long and illustrious life, 
and pray that the inspiration of his deeds may actuate other men among 
us to an emulation of his powers, graces and success. 

Resolved, That we count it no extravagance to estimate and rank the 
late Frederick Douglass, in true and lovable greatness, by the side of 
Confucius of China, Moses of the Hebrews, Solon of Greece, O'Connell 
of Ireland, Wilberforce and Gladstone of England, Toussaint I'Ouverture 
of Santo Domingo, Bismarck of Germany, and Lincoln, Garrison and 
Sumner of America. 

128 m MEMORIAM. 

Resolved, That his withering philippics, spoken and wielded by hi« 
mighty pen against human slavery, Ku-Kluxism, the rape of the ballot 
box, the indiflference and supineness of the North, and the injustice 
heaped upon the people of his race by their American enemies, are not 
surpassed in true eloquence and power, by those of any agitator, leader 
or martyr of any people in the history of the world ; while the purity 
and beauty of his productions are worthy to rank as classics in the Eng- 
lish language. 

Resolved, That the recent great and masterly exposition of the cause of 
the lynching of his people in the South, and his inestimable ability in 
defending them against the charge of being a race of rapists and general 
criminals, entitle him to the unanimous and individual love of the negro 
race the world over, and to the esteem of all persons who love honor, 
truth, justice and fair play, especially when they are wielded in behalf of 
the weak, innocent and oppressed. 

Resolved, That we, the citizens of Americus, Sumter County, Ga., 
consider it our duty to contribute, out of our poverty and still-existing 
oppression, to a racial fund, to be used and expended in erecting a mon- 
ument commensurate to the fame and glory of our hero, which monu- 
ment shall be appropriately located and shall forever exist in commemo- 
ration of Frederick Douglass, and as an expression of the love of his 

Resolved, That the Legislature of North Carolina, in adjourning out of 
respect to the memory of Frederick Douglass ; and the city of New York, 
in extending the use of its City Hall for his remains to lie in state, did 
worthy and timely honor to a great man who has blessed and benefited 
the world by having lived in it, and as a result of whose labors and teach- 
ings the greatest republican government on earth is purged of slavery 
and solidified forever. 

Resolved, That where the remains of our Douglass shall lie buried, 
that spot and his tomb shall ever be a sacred Mecca to the negro 
race. It shall inspire us with patriotic zeal for that country in whose 
bosom rests his grave, and from henceforth it shall prove the anchor to 
hold the negro race in the strongest ties of love and affection to American 

Resolved, That these and other appropriate resolutions and ex- 
pressions of respect and condolence shall be recorded in our churches, 
schools and social organizations, and that copies be retained in each 
home and family circle as the most sacred archives of the Afro-American 

Resolved, That, so far as lies in our power, we favor and recommend 
the adoption of a " Douglass Day," upon which all Afro-Americans shall 
meet and discuss the great life and deeds of our hero, and shall otherwise 
appropriately celebrate the same. 

Resolved, That we request that these resolutions be published by the 
city and race press. 


Resolved, That a copy of these resolu^ions be forwarded to the family 
of the beloved dead, with whom we deeply sympathize and condole. 

J. H. DiSMUKES, Chairman. 

A. L. Smith, M. D., Secretary. 

C. A. Catledgk, 

Rev. G. \V. Phillips, 

J. H. Covington, 

Joseph Dowdell, 

J.^CKSON Carter, 

W. J. Kennedy, 

Polk Branson, 

J. Matt Hart, 


The Woman's League of Denver, Col. 

Whereas, The sad news has just been flashed across the continent of 
the departure from earth of one of her best and noblest sons, a student, 
a teacher, an orator, a statesman, a philanthropist, a deliverer, a husband 
and father ; and 

Whereas, This man iu youth braved the stings of poverty aud misfor- 
tune ; stood like adamant against the storms of derision aud calumny in 
the arena and forum, espousing the cause of his enslaved and down- 
trodden people ; and 

Whereas, In the noontide of life he was enabled to see his efforts 
rewarded by their complete enfranchisement, and to behold them capable 
of working out their own destiny ; and 

Whereas, In the sunset of life, his work finished, and in the happy 
society of wife, children and friends, iniiuite nature threw around him 
the mantle of love and a halo of reverence, and iu that hour of peace and 
quiet the Invisible Power took from earth that which was immortal of 
Frederick Douglass ; therefore 

Resolved, That we, the members of the Woman's League of Denver, 
Col., do tender our heartfelt sympathies to the sorrowing wife and 
children, and bedew with tears of love and gratitude the bier of our hon- 
ored dead. 

Mrs. Lizzie M. Olden, Presidenl. 

JIrs. Ida DeFriest, Corresponding Secretary. 

Adopted March 6, 1S95. 

Senate and HorsE of Representatives of 


Whereas, The Senate and House of Representatives of tlie Common- 
wealth of Massachusetts, in General Court assembled, have learned with 
profound sorrow and regret of the sudden death of Honorable Frederick 


Douglass, ex-Uuited States Marshal at Washington, and ex-United States 
Minister to Haiti, who, while not a native of Massachusetts, was a pro- 
duct of her training. 

/Resolved, That this Legislature attests its great appreciation of the 
marked ability, which was shown in his rise from the low estate of his 
birth to the height of one of the nation's counselors, his upright char- 
acter and his lifelong, consecrated efforts to raise the race he was identi- 
fied with to the highest pinnacle of American citizenship. 

Resolved, That the Senate and House of Representatives tender to the 
bereaved family their sincere sympathy, and that a copy, suitalily 
engrossed, of these resolutions properly attested be forwarded by the Sec- 
retary of the Commonwealth to the family of the deceased. 

House of Representatives. 

Adopted March i, 1S95. 

Sent up for concurrence. 

Edward A. McLaughlin, Clerk. 

Adopted in concurrence March 6, 1895. 

Henry D. Coolidge, Clerk. 
A true copy. 

Attest :— Edward A. McLaughlin, 

Clerk of the House of Represeittaiives. 

The Social Literary Society of Amherstburg, 

Whereas, Divine Providence has closed the earthly career of that 
great American, the Honorable Frederick Douglass, we, as members of 
the Social Literary Society of the town of Amherstburg, Canada, add our 
tribute to his memory as an orator, a statesman and a man of great 
literary abilities. 

And that we feel the loss of this brave advocate of liberty and justice, 
who has had for so long the respect and love of his own race and the 
praise of the entire people ; therefore be it 

Resolved, That in the death of the Honorable Frederick Douglass we 
have lost a faithful advocate and a dauntless leader, and society one of its 
brightest jewels. 

Resolved, That as his career may easily find a place in the history of the 
nation, we sincerely hope that his character will be studied by the youth 
of to-day, and that tliey may ever look upon him as a light by which 
they can be safely guided in all the efforts of life. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the family of the 

Ada Christian, President. 
Fred. H. A. Davis, Chainnan. 

Adopted March 6, 1S95. 

frederick douglasf!. 131 

The Anti-Lynching Committee, of London, England. 
13 Tavistock Square, 
London, W. C, Eng., March 6, 1895. 
To THE Hon. Mrs. Frederick Douglass. 

Dear Madam : At a meeting of the Anti-Lynching 
Committee, held last Thnrsday, the following resolution 
was carried amidst many expressions of sympathy and 
regret : 

That this Committee desire most respectfully to tender to Mrs. Freder- 
ick Douglass an expression of- their warni sympathy in the irreparable 
loss she has sustained in the death of her husband, the Honorable Freder- 
ick Douglass ; also to place on record their sense of profound admiration 
for the life, character and noble career of the veteran statesman to whose 
unflinching courage, and determined loyalty to truth and justice, the 
colored race owe so much. Most especially they deplore the loss of 
his valuable counsels and eloquent aid by speech and pen, exposing the 
barbarous crime of lynching practiced in some of the States of the Ameri- 
can Union. 

Permit me, dear madam, to add my own words of deep 
sympathy and regret, and believe me, 

Yours respectfully. 



Honorable Secretary. 

Memorial Meeting of Colored Citizens of 

Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Held at Allen Temple, in said city, on March 8, 1895. 

Resolved, By the colored citizens of Cincinnati, in memorial meeting 
assembled, that in the death of Frederick Douglass we lose a champion 
of liberty, whose eloquence and whose energies were directed against 
wrong and oppression ; our country, one of its most exemplary citizens 
and a matchless orator ; and humanity, a servant instant in action, and 
ever ready with pen and voice to plead for her cause. 

His life history, epitomizing, as it does, the struggle of his indomitable 
spirit of freedom and resistance to slavery, should be an inspiration to 


those who follow him, to struggle on with unconquerable spirit and hope 

ever strong, until every vestige of thraldom is extinguished from the 

manners, customs and laws of our country. 

Resolved, That an engrossed copy of these resolutions be sent to the 

family of the deceased. 

Memorial Committee. 
Thomas J. Monroe, 
George H. Jackson, 
Samuel W. Clark, 
w. copeland, 
Joseph L. Jones, 
Willis S. Tisdale, 
W. B. Ross, 
Samdel B. Hill, 


The Woman's Loyal Union of the City of New York, 
in memoriam. 

Whereas, It has pleased the Great Liberator of Man to call from 
earthly thraldom the heroic leader of the negro race, the lamented 
Frederick Douglass, who, rising from the environment of slavery and 
surmounting the obstacles that beset him in consequence of such a con- 
dition, made himself to be a citizen of culture, intelligence and broad general 
knowledge, and one who, even when nearing his life's end, was devoting 
his waning hours to the cause of the emancipation of woman ; therefore 
be it 

Resolved, That we, the members of the Woman's Loyal Union, deplore 
the loss of this great soul, for the deeds which have made his name 
illustrious and the influence he has always exerted among us. Born a 
slave as he was, with a master mind, even in his youth thir.sting for 
knowledge, and contriving ingenious means to acquire its first principles, 
with a spirit that chafed under the restraint of oppression and struggled 
to be free ; he fled to freedom, and out of his own experience told the 
story of the cruelties and injustice of slavery to large audiences in the 
North, making himself one of the greatest of orators. 

Resolved, That we, in our great sorrow for the bereavement that has 
visited the family of the Honorable Frederick Douglass, do express to 
them the conviction that with them a nation mourns the loss of one of 
its noblest sons, and that time, which overcometh all things, and alone 
can bring together the separated, may assuage their poignant grief, and 
lead them to hail with joy a future which will bring the mutually beloved 
together again, in a sweet and endless reunion. 

Resolved, That we, as a people, owe much of the success of the anti- 
slavery cause to his participation in the work, both here and in England, 


where he traveled, speaking for the slave and winning for him friends, 
whose example obtains to this day upon all questions relative to the good 
of the race in this country. 

Resolved, That we appreciate his life for an enthusiastic devotion to his 
race in every way ; in politics, in State affairs, in eloquently denouncing 
the iniquitous lynching of the Southeni negro, and in manifesting his 
unabated ardor to serve his people, even at the moment when death, the 
messenger, called this noble heart up higher. 

Resolved^ That his life throughout has been such as to command tht 
respect and admiration of his race and of all races, euabling him to be 
appointed to such positions of honor as United States Marshal, Recorder 
of Deeds, and United States Minister tn Haiti, and fully entitling him to 
be a leader of his people. 

Resolved, That believing the greatest glory of any people is to transmit 
a love of freedom to their children, we hereby pledge ourselves to hand 
down to successive generations a knowledge of the life and deeds of this 
brave and fearless advocate of liberty, who has gone from his earthl}- 
home. He deserved fame and he had it. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be engrossed and presented 
to the family of the deceased, and also inscribed upon the record books 
of the Union. 

Victoria Matthews, President. 

Katie V. Carmand, Cor. Secretaty. 

Florence r. Ray, 

Mary T. Tato, 

J. Imogen Howard, 


The Cherry Street Baptist Church, 
Philadelphia, Pa. 

Whereas, It has pleased Almighty God, in His wise Providence, to 
remove from our midst, by the hand of death, the great leader of our 
race, the great self-made man, Frederick Douglass, a man emerging from 
the degradation of slavery and, by his own exertions and persevering 
zeal in the pursuit of freedom and human rights, rising to the 
height of consideration and manhood, despite untold opposition and 
obstacles ; furnishing the grandest illustration of the capabilities and de- 
velopment of the colored race ; filling the positions of editor, elector-at- 
large, United States Marshal, United States Recorder of Deeds for the 
District of Columbia, and Uuited States Minister, with a fidelity peculiar 
to our race, and honored by the world at large ; be it therefore 

Resolved, That we, as citizens and as members of the Cherry Street 
Baptist Church, in common with the people at large, while mourning the 
great loss the race and country have sustained, hereby extend to the 

134 AV ME3I0RIAM. 

bereaved widow and children our heartfelt sjTnpathies and, with this 
slight tribute of appreciation of his great worth and services, commend 
them to the care and guidance of the great Master who, through all 
these long years of labor and toil, steadily lead him on to victory. 

Theo. Dwight Miller, D. D., Pastor. 

Richard B. Dennis, Clerk. 

The Colored Citizens of Urbana, Ohio. 

Whereas, The Almighty, in His wise Providence, has seen fit to 
remove to his eternal rest that eminent representative of the negro race. 
Honorable Frederick Douglass, whose name and history stand prominent 
in every city, town and village of our land ; known as a slave, freeman, 
orator and diplomat ; and 

Whereas, It is highly proper that we should now, publicly, record the 
sentiments and feelings which we, the members of his race, bear toward 
him, and that we should give permanent testimony of our appreciation of 
his character and of the loss which we sustain by his death ; therefore 

Resolved, By us, the colored citizens of the city of Urbana, State of 
Ohio, that we recognize, in the life and history of our eminent and 
highly honored representative, the late Honorable Frederick Douglass, 
the qualities and capacities with which the Creator has endowed our 
race ; and that in his patient struggle with adverse circumstances ; his 
resignation to the yoke of a criminal slavery ; his self-secured freedom ; 
his incalculable service in helping his fellow men to secure freedom from 
that slavery ; his career as an orator and statesman ; and in his record as 
a man he has erected for himself a monument which entitles him to the 
reverence and respect of all mankind. 

Resolved, That his example constitutes a bright and shining beacon for 
his people, and that he has made, by his persistent efforts, a plain path 
that all may follow, to the respect and esteem of their fellow citizens. 

Resolved, That in his death, we, with his family, his friends, his race 
and his country, have been deprived of a friend whose s)-mpathy, in every 
need, was as warm and generous, and whose prudence and business ability 
were as unequalled, as his private and family life were stainless and pure. 

Resolved, That we tender the family our sympathy in this, their great 

Resolved, That this preamble and these resolutions be spread at large 
in our city daily papers, and that a copy be sent to his afflicted family. 
Lewis C. Sheafe, 
Isaiah Buckney, 
William H. Stewart, 


Adopted March il, 1895. 

frederick douglass. 135 

The Colored Citizens of Elmira, N. Y. 

Whereas, We hav^e learned of the majesty and power of Almighty 
God by the solemn dispensation of His providence in removing from our 
midst onr noble and esteemed brother, Frederick Donglass, therefore 

Resolved, That, while we mourn the loss, as those only mourn who 
have lost a valuable friend and companion, and although we esteem him 
as the brightest ornament of the Afro-American race, yet we will, with 
feelings of composure and resignation, bow before the divine mandate 
which has so suddenly dissolved those ties by which we were so long and 
so pleasantly associated with him, possessing the assurance that our loss 
is his gain, and believing that in Him who possesses the wisdom and 
power to bestow rests also the inherent right and justice to deprive. 

Resolved, That although the once familiar form of our distinguished 
friend now lies lifeless in the tomb, and he can never again associate with 
us, yet we will ever cherish, as sacred to his memory, his wise counsel in all 
the affairs of our race, and we will treasure in fond remembrance his fra- 
ternal affection, his modest and unyielding integrity, and his strict devotion 
to our welfare as a people, which principles gave character to his professions 
and practice, and were truly exemplary and worthy the emulation of all. 

Resolved, That to the wife and family and to that once bright and 
happy circle of which he was a shining light, and from which he has 
been so suddenly removed, we, citizens of Elmira, N. Y., do offer these 
united but feeble expressions of the sorrow and regret which pervades 
our hearts in their behalf The loss of such a husband and father is irre- 
parable, and for consolation we commend them to Him who is a husband 
to the widow and a father to the fatherless, and who is the giver of all 
good. May they meet their loved one in that boundless realm where 
loved ones know no parting. 

We can also truly say, " Surely a great man has fallen in Israel to-day ! " 

Resolved, That as a token of respect to the memory of our departed 
brother, Frederick Douglass, we hold memorial services in our several 
churches, and that a copy of these resolutions be transmitted to the family 
of the deceased and also to the press. 

JUDSON Moore, President. 
-Steven Clark, Chainnan. 
Simeon Turner, .Secretarv. 

Adopted March 12, 1S95. 

The Seventh Ward Republican Club, of 
Providence, R. I. 

Whereas, It has pleased the Father of the Universe to remove from us 
one of our most beloved friends and our brother, I'rederick Douglass, and 

Whereas, In remembrance of the great and noble deeds done for the 
sake of humanity and freedom by the lamented Frederick Douglass, we 

136 /.V MEMORIAM. 

tlcem it appropriate that we place on record our appreciation of him as 
one of the race and one of the greatest of men ; therefore 

A'fso/zifd, That we, the members of this club, though we humbly bow 
before the Giver of all good, do not the less mourn the loss of our great 
friend who has been called from labor to his reward. 

Resolved, That in the death of Frederick Douglass the race loses a 
great upright hero and a friend to be remembered by the nation. 

Resolved, That this club tenders its greatest sympathy to the family and 
friends in their great loss of the husband, father and friend — Frederick 

BENj.iiMiN Taylor, President. 
Ch.\rles H. Thompson, Secretary. 

Adopted March 15, 1S95. 

The Colored Republican Association of the 
State of New York. 

Where.\s, It has pleased God to remove from this earth, one whom 
we, as a race, all love and honor for his good deeds ; be it therefore 

Resolved, That we, the members of the Colored Republican Associa- 
tion of the State of New York, have, with feelings of profound sorrow 
and regret, learned of the death of the Honorable Frederick Douglass. 

Resolved, That, in the death of the Honorable Frederick Douglass, 
the colored people of this country are called upon to mourn the loss of 
the champion and leader of their race, a high-minded patriot and citizen, 
whose name must be added to the roll of distinguished heroes, and whose 
fame and services in contending for the freedom, rights and liberties of 
his race, a grateful people will ever faithfully cherish. 

The nation, now free and united, owes to its brave defenders, living 
and dead, a debt of gratitude. 

" Though parted then, we now are one : 
One now in love, not hate, — 
One people and one State." 

Resolved, That we recognize, in the Honorable Frederick Douglass, all 
those admirable qualities and finer sensibilities which cluster about the 
heart of a true gentleman, and which go so far in making up a leader, 
a patriot and a hero. He took up the cause of the freedom and liberty 
of Ins race, while handicapped with the shackles of slavery, and boldly 
and fiercely showed to his oppressors, the wTongs and injuries which they 
were inflicting on his race, and through his whole career he displayed 
such courage and sagacity, and such brilliant oratorical and debating 
abilities, in opposition to hisopposers, as to win for himself a world-wide 
reputation, and a conspicuous position among our most highly honored 
and distinguished statesmen. 


JUcso/fcd, That the members of the Colored Republican Association 
of the State of New York, extend their warmest sympathies to the 
widow and family of the late Frederick Douglass, in this, their hour of 
sorrow and affliction. 

Alfred C. Cowan, Presidctit. 

J. Newton Benedict, Secretary. 

James R. Braxton, 

E. V. C. Raton, 

F. II. Carmand. 

Adopted March 23, 1S95. 

The Progressive Republican Cltb, of Xenia, Ohio. 

Whereas, Frederick Douglass, the great statesman and leader, has 
been called to his long home, and to his reward; and 

Whereas, His distinguished career has been a blessing to mankind 
and an honor to God, therefore 

Resolved, That the Progressive Republican Club, and citizens of Xenia, 
sincerely deplore his death and will ever perpetuate his memory and 
emulate his good deeds. 

Resolved, That we extend to his family our sympathy and our recog- 
nition of his greatness. 
Resolved. That a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to his family. 
J. M. Summers, 
J. W. Crosby, 
Charles Russell. 
Adopted March 21, 1895. 

The Frederick Douglass Lyceum, of Memphis, Tenn. 

Memphis, Tenn., April 4, 1895. 
IMrs. Frederick Douglass. 

Madam: At a meeting of the Frederick Douglass Ly- 
ceum, of Memphis, Tenn., held March 11, 1895, ^he ac- 
companying resolutions were offered and adopted, and the 
corresponding secretary was instructed to forward the 
same to the widow and relatives of the late Frederick 

Yours in sorrow, 
F. D. Cassels, Corresponding Secretary. 

138 lf>^ MEMOniAM. 

Whereas, The Honorable Frederick Douglass, one of the greatest 
philosophers, orators and statesmen of the nineteenth century, has de- 
parted this life, and 

Whereas, In honor of his character and to perpetuate his name. The 
Frederick Douglass Lyceum, of Memphis, Tenn., was established; there- 
fore be it 

Resolved, That the above-named association hereby tender to the 
family and relatives of the illustrious dead, its condolence, and share 
with them their bereavement in this, their hour of sad affliction; and be 
it further 

Resolved, That these resolutions be spread upon the minutes of this 
association, and that a copy thereof be furnished the Watchman and 
Christian Herald, for publication. 

N. H. Pins, 

R. E. Driver, 

F. D. Cassels, 
Corresponding Secretary. 

The Dr. Simmons Pioneer Lyceum, Providence, R. I. 

Providence, R. I., April 9, 1S95. 
Mrs. Helen Douglass, Anacostia, D. C. 

Dear Madam: Please accept a copy of the resolutions 
adopted by tlie Dr. Simmons Pioneer Lyceum, of Provi- 
dence, R. I., as a token of respect to the late Honorable 
Frederick Douglass. 

Respectfully yours, 
W. H. Carter, 


G. H. KiBLEY, 

M. N. Overton, 


Whereas, It has pleased the all- wise God, the Ruler of the Universe, 
to remove from our midst, the Honorable Frederick Douglass, and 

Whereas, He was a heroic champion of truth and justice, a deter- 
mined assailant of falsehood and wrong; one who, to the greatest e\-ils 
which afflicted our race and country, gave no quarter, and 

Whereas, He aimed his sword at the heart of the enemj', and fought 
for nothing less than the complete and eternal overtlirow of the evils of 


our nation (called by Garrison, Phillips and Sumner, a compact with 
hell, and a covenant with sin and death); therefore 

Rcsoli-cd, That, with gratitude to God, we place on record our highest 
esteem of the character of our departed leader, one who nobly repre- 
sented his race, his nation and his country, in State and national affairs. 

Kesolvcd, That, while we bow before God's altar, in humble submission 
to the will of our Heavenly Father, we realize that we, as a race, have 
suffered an irreparable loss in the death of Honorable Frederick Doug- 
lass, who was endowed with extraordinary powers; invincible in argu- 
ment and captivating in oratory. 

Resolved, That these resolutions be spread on the minutes of this 
lyceum, and placed on file. 

Resolved. That a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to the family 
of the deceased, and that a copy be sent for publication to the iXe:u 
York Age, hidiayiapolis Fyceinan, Boston Courant, Ne^u England 
Torchlight and the Republican Sun. 

WixUAM H. Carter, President. 
J. D. Fisher, Secretary. 
W. H. Carter, 

G. H. KiBLEV, 

M. \V. Overton, 

Committee on Resolutions. 

The Miner Institution for the Education of 
Colored Youth. 

" The Elsmere," 
Washington, D. C, April 9, 1895. 
My dear Mrs. Dougl.vss: 

At the regular meeting of the corporators of the Institu- 
tion for the Education of Colored Youth, held on the sixth 
instant (the first since the death of Mr. Douglass), the 
enclosed testimonial was read and placed on record, and I 
was directed to forward a copy of the same to 3'ou. 

I would like to add my personal sympathy for you in 
your bereavement. 

Very sincerely, 

E. J. Brigham. 

The corporators of the Miner Institution for the Education of Colored 
Youth, being impressed with profound sorrow by the death of one 
of their number, the Honorable Frederick Douglass, place upon their 


records this minute, as a testimonial of the high esteem iu which they 
hold their late colleague. His remarkable history from a slave boy to 
the position of ' ' foremost man of his race, ' ' a title given him by common 
consent, his eminent abilities, exalted character, Christian principles, 
and his general courtesy, won the respect and admiration of all who 
knew him. His fidelity to the trust reposed in him as a member of this 
board, his intelligent views and wise counsels, and his earnest purpose to 
do all in his power for the advancement of the youth of his race, entitle 
him to their lasting gratitude. 

His surviving colleagues will ever cherish pleasant memories of their 
association with the most remarkable and interesting man of his race 
and time. 

The secretary is requested to transmit a copy of the foregoing to the 
family of the deceased. 

Rev. Rush R. Shippen, 
S. A. Bond, 
Henry RI. B.a^ker, 
Henry P. Montgomery, 

J. O. WlWON, 

Caroline B. Winslow, 
Emily J. Brigham, 
Mary J. Stroud. 

The Instructors of Howard University, 
Washington, D. C. 
At a meeting called to take action on the death of Mr. 
Douglass the following were presented and unanimously 
adopted : 

Resolved, That in the death of Honorable Frederick Douglass, LL. D., 
the great Afro-American orator and anti-slavery agitator, and for years 
one of the trustees of this university, this period in history has lost one, 
who, in many respects, was its most remarkable character ; a man, whose 
life of seventy-seven years embraced the most wonderful contrasts and 
paradoxes ; having in his veins the blood of two alienated races, and yet 
honored by both ; born a slave in JIaryland, and yet advanced to public 
jiositions at home and abroad, such as fall to the lot of few mortals ; 
living iu a period of great civil upheavals, of which the Afro-American 
race was the central interest and problem, and yet retaining his loyalty 
to a government that long hesitated what should be done with 3,000,000 
of his fellow bondmen ; having had no advantage of schools, and yet 
always welcomed as an equal into the society of cultivated men and 
women all over the world ; a man, whose patience in tribulation, whose 
modesty and dignity in successes, whose forgiving spirit and heart 


of courage, as well as whose personal attainments and public services, 
make it proper to classify him as wholly worthy of the confidence and 
society of such men as Garrison and Sumner, as Lincoln and Grant, in a 
crisis when America had to serve her a breed of her noblest and greatest 
statesmen and soldiers ; a man, whose rise anil elevation are another 
proof that moral greatness, consistent purpose, and just and fair dealing 
with men and measures, and trust in the living God cannot go witliout 
earthly reward. 

"A hero high above revenge or greed. 
Forbidding bloodshed and restraining hate. 
Chiding and shuuniug every threat of crime, 
Not rash, but patient, knowing well indeed 
That Justice, being blind, must therefore wait, 
And cannot come, except as led by Time." 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted, with the 
expression of our deepest sympath}-, to Mrs. Douglass, the widow, and 
to the children of the deceased. 

The Citizen.s of Madisox, Ixd. 

Madison, Ind., March 4, 1895. 
Mrs. Douglass. 

Dear Madam: On Febrtiary 27, memorial exercises 
were held in one of the largest assembly halls, to honor the 
memory of Honorable Frederick Douglass. 

It was decided, by unanimous vote, to forward to you 
and family a copy of the memorial prepared by the 
committee, which copy I now send, thus carrying out the 
directions of that vast assembly. 


Faustin S. Delany. 
In Memori.\m. 

We stand to^iay in the shadow of a blighting gloom. A mighty one 
has fallen. The great tongue, so eloquent in its pleadings for the race, 
is stilled forever. The watchman on the bulwark of liberty is no more. 
The great sympathetic heart has ceased to pulsate. That lofty spirit has 
burst its bonds of claj-, and has gone to mingle with those who sing a 
song angels cannot sing — the song of the redeemed. 

An all-wise Providence has set the limit to his sojouni among men. 
We question not its wisdom. We submit to its will. 


In Frederick Douglass we recoguize a man of great ability combined 
with rare and unequaled courage. Undaunted, he struggled under the 
clouds of slavery to liberate a race, until, after years of oppression, free- 
dom came, and with it the blessings of equality. 

In the great progress made since then his efforts have been appreciated 
and his services rewarded with high offices of honor and power, in each 
of which he performed his duties in a manner that elevated his standing 
and endeared him to his countrymen. 

For half a centurj- he has been a unique, central figure in the United 
States; a man whose life and vi-orksare a part of its history, and whose 
character has left its impress upon the character of the nation. 

By his strength of will, indomitable courage and pure integrity, he has 
shown to the world that all that goes to make the true man is to be found 
in an ebon casket as well as in one of alabaster. 

Mr. Douglass was a true and tried friend, a manly man, a worthy 
leader, an illustrious character ; and his name will go down as one cele- 
brated in history. 

Mr. Douglass was more than a hero. He possessed the requisites for a 
martyr ; for, while he did not besprinkle the shrine of liberty with his 
life-blood, he risked his all in freedom's cause. 

He was transcendent in his eloquence ; one moment convulsing his 
audience with laughter, the next arousing a storm of opposition and then 
arguing down that opposition. He would reach down into the depths of 
the hearts of his listeners, steal into their sympathies and move them to 
tears. Nay, he could annihilate time, the true test of the orator. 

Who so strong to battle against the wrongs of the race? Who so 
broad to command the attention of the world in the recital of those 
wrongs ? 

But Mr. Douglass is not merely an example. He is an object lesson. 
He shows the possibilities of the race. 

We thank God for giving to the world such a lofty character. We 
shall ever honor the name of Frederick Douglass. 

The Citizens of Philadelphia, Pa. 

At the meeting of the citizens of Philadelphia, held at 
the Academy of Music, April 15, 1895, the following were 
adopted : 

Whereas, The Divine Ruler of all things has, in his infinite wisdom, 
been pleased to call from among us, Frederick Douglass, the eminent 
and patriotic citizen, the gifted, eloquent and consistent champion of 
freedom and even-handed justice to all men ; and 


Whereas, His death comes to each one of us as a sad personal bereave- 
meut and overwhelms us all with a deep sense of grief which we can 
only with difficulty express ; be it therefore 

Resolved, That although we mouru his loss with unspeakable sorrow, 
we yet find consolation in the remembrance of his loyal services to 
humanity, his high standards of manhood, and his faithful consecration 
of great talents and mar\'elous endowments to noble purposes. 

Resolved, That wdiile it may be said in general that the world is made 
better by the life of every great and good man such as he was, we aflnrm 
our belief in particular that the power of Mr. Douglass' personality, and 
his masterful appeals to the conscience and the understanding of the 
nation and of mankind, had an important bearing in the evolution which 
brought about the emancipation and enfranchisement of millions of his 

Resolved, That his honorable and unswerving devotion to the interests 
of the least favored of Americans, with whom he was especially identified, 
his remarkable moral strength which never forsook him, his unblemished 
good name, to which we point with pride, his unfailing good sense, his 
modesty and dignity of character, his habitual and unvarying subordina- 
tion of all mere impulse and passion to good reason and to that which is 
best, his untiring industry which led to lasting achievements, display 
qualities which merit and command our unqualified admiration, and we 
cannot too strongly commend them to the youth of our land as altogether 
worthy of their highest emulation. 

Resolved, That, in bowing in humble submission to the Divine will, we 
have felt moved from the bottom of our hearts to add this, our tribute, to 
the many testimonies of respect and grateful remembrance which have 
been made manifest all over our own land and have passed beyond the 
oceans ; and we extend our siucerest sympathy to the family of the 
deceased, whose name we will honor aiid whose memorj- we will cherish 
to the end. 

E. D. Bassett, 
Chairman of Coiniiiillee on Resolnliotis. 

The Assembly Club, of S.\n Francisco, Cal. 
The members of the Assembly Chib, of San Fraucisco, 
realizing the fact that in the death of the Honorable 
Frederick Douglass, the United States of America have lost 
a citizen, patriot and statesman, whose labors for the cause of 
humanity ranked him as first among the great philanthropists 
of the age, do hereby offer the following resolutions : 

Whereas, It has pleased the Almighty, in His infinite wisdom, to 
from the field of his labor, one who, during his life, was a most 


able exponeut and a most indefatigable worker for the cause of liberty 
and the elevation of humanity ; and 

Whereas, lu the death of the Honorable Frederick Douglass, our 
race has lost a friend, champion and leader, in whom were blended those 
elements of superior individuality so essential to the success of a race 
leader ; therefore be it 

Resolved, That the colored citizens of California mourn the death of 
the late Honorable Frederick Douglass, and that they regard his loss as a 
national calamity, coming, as it does, at a time when the cause of our 
race can illy atTord to lose his services ; and be it further 

Resolved, That the colored citizens of San Francisco, in memorial 
service assembled, do hereby extend to his bereaved family their deepest 
sympathy for their great loss, and the loss which all liberty-loving citizens 
of the United States suffer through his death. 

John C. Rivers. President. 
G. W. Henriques, Secretary. 

The Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the 

Abolition of Slavery. 
The following tribute was paid to the memory of Mr. 
Douglass, at a public meeting of the Society, held at 
Friends' Meeting House, Philadelphia, in April, 1895: 

We would be doing less than our duty, and far less than our feelings 
prompt us to do, were we not, on this occasion, to send to the bereaved 
family of Frederick Douglass, some expression of our deep sympathy 
with, and of our high admiration of, his character ; our sincere affection 
for him and our appreciation of his life-work in behalf of his race and for 
human freedom and the rights of man. 

Seldom, if ever, was there a greater contrast in the life of a human 
being, than is found in that of this illustrious character. Bom a slave, 
denied an education, as he was denied his freedom, yet obtaining both by 
his own exertions. Poor, yet free, he asserted his manhood and devel- 
oped his genius. Ten years after being a slave, we find him in the 
editorial chair of the A'oiih Star, and on the platform an orator of rare 
ability and wonderful magnetic power. From a slave, he came to be 
United States Marshal for the District of Columbia, and United States 
Minister to Haiti ; efficient, admired, beloved ! Let young men learn by 
this masterpiece of energ>', what can be done by individual effort and 
determined will ! 

Let governments take heed, and never enslave a human being, for they 
know not the possibilities they are oppressing ! Let mankind every- 
where rejoice that, in the triumphs of this man over all the disadvantages 


of slavery, of caste, of persecution and of cruelty, God's great law has 
been vindicated, that " He is no respecter of persons," and that "right- 
eousness endureth forever." 

Frederick Douglass was a member of this society, and one of its faithful 
supporters, and, whenever possible, was with us in our arduous labors. 
The powerful appeals he made for, not only freedom from chattel slavery, 
but for the broadest liberty for the rights of conscience and the inalien- 
able rights of man, will never be forgotten, but will be forever held 
sacred, and we gratefully testify our appreciation of a life that has made 
grander the history, not only of our country and our lives, but of the 

Signed on behalf of the Society, 

WlLIJ.\M Stii.i,. 

/ Ice- President. 
W. Heacock, 
JcsEPH M. Trum.^n, Jr., 

poems anb Sonnets. 



A Career Unique. 

The celebrated American orator, Frederick Douglass, died in Washington, D. C, 
February 20, 1S95, aged seventy-eight years. 

He was born a slave in Maryland, 1S17. 

He escaped to Massachusetts, 1838. 

He founded an anti-slavery newspaper, Rochester, N. Y., 1847. 

He addressed anti-slavery meetings in the Northern States and in Great Britain 
with powerful eloquence for twenty-five years. 

He raised for President Lincoln two regiments of negro troops (the Massachusetts 
Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth), 1863. 

He was appointed by President Grant to the San Domingo Commission, 1871. 

He was chosen Presidential elector-at-large for the State of New York, 1872. 

He was made Marshal of the District of Columbia by President Hayes, 1881. 

He was Recorder of Deeds, Washington, under Presidents Garfield and Arthur. 

He was sent by President Harrison to Haiti as United States Minister, 1889. 

He died in Washington (as above mentioned) and was buried at his old home, 
Rochester, N. Y., in Mount Hope Cemetery, with unusual public honors. 

The following sonnets to his memory were written in Paris, France, immediately 
after his funeral ; 


I knew tbe noblest giants of my day, 

.'Vnd he was o/thein — strong amid the strong : 
But gentle, too : for though he suffered wrong, 

Yet the wrong-doer never heard him say 

" Thee also do I hate. " . . . 

A lover's lay — 
No dirge — no doleful requiem song — 
Is what I owe him, for I loved him long ; 

As dearly as a younger brother may. 

Proud is the happy grief with which I sing; 
For, O my Countri,' ! in the paths of men 
There never walked a grander man than he ! 


He was a peer of princes — yea a king ! 
Crowned in the shambles and the prison-pen ! 
The noblest Slave that ever God set free ! 

Too many a man is honored overmuch ! 

The worthiest souls are ever scarce and few ; 

And ere we crown them (if at last we do) 
They first are outcasts whom we shrink to touch ! 

From squalid Bethlehem came one of such, 
Born in a manger, and, to human view, 
A beggar — yet whom kings did homage to, 

While cattle stood in stalls about His hutch ! 

How does it happen that, in every clime, 
When any groaning nation of the earth 
Hath need of some new leader of a race, 
Or some true prophet of a better time, 

The Heavens elect him for his lowly birth, 
Ere they uplift him to his lofty place ? 

I answer: He must first be taught to know — 

(I say to know, and not to guess) — how real 

Is all the misery which he hopes to heal ! 
The high may show a kindness to the low : 
Some wealthy lord is generous— be it so : 

Yet who except the poor and pinched can feel 

Their pang of poverty ? . . . 

So for their weal, 
They need a champion who has borne their woe ! 

As the Arabian pearl, beneath the brine. 
Lies hid, and frets and chafes within its shell, 
Till by its torment it grows bright and pure,— 
So an illustrious spirit, boni to shine. 

Must first in some dim depth of sorrow dwell, 
And have a wholesome anguish to endure ! 

Be glad, O heart of mine ! and dance and leap 

At all these funeral honours paid thy friend ! 

This lengthened pageantry, so slow to end ! 
These crape-hung flags ! these many eyes that weep ! 


These cannon, loud enough to wake his sleep ! 

These bells that with the trumpets interblend ! 

These published praises, eloquently penned ! 
All telling of an homage wide and deep. 
Not since our Land of Liberty was young, 
When fiery Otis passed away in flame,* 

And Patrick Henry's burning lips grew cold, 
Hath mortal silence hushed a braver tongue 
Thau of this Bondman, who, in Freedom's name, 

Spake (like the Byzantine) with 'mouth of gold.' f 

I ask myself, Was it a dreadful dream ?^ 
A wild, disordered vision of the night? — 
That the fair Country of my dear delight, 

The patriot's paradise, the exile's theme. 

The Land of Lands, where Freedom reigns supreme, 
Should once have dared, in God's offended sight, 
To sin so great a sin aganist the light 

That, to atone for it, a living stream 

Of human blood flowed as a holocaust. 
Till every household had a soldier slain ! 

— O tardy Nation, slow agen to learn ! 
Let not thy former lesson now be lost ! 

For now thy Northern millions toil in vain ! 
Beware ! Deny them not the bread they earn ! 


Shall there be Hunger in a Land of Corn ? 

Then if — (shut out from idle null and mine) — 

Come the bold beggars forth in battle-line, 
Armed and in fury, answering scorn with scorn — 
Oh who shall lead them in their Hope Forlorn ? 

How shall they know him ? How shall they divine 

Their true deliverer ? I will tell the sign ! 
Let him be like the man whom now we mourn ! — 
A hero high above revenge or greed. 

Forbidding bloodshed and restraining hate 

Chiding and shaming every threat of crime — 
Not rash, but patient, knowing well indeed 
That Justice, being blind, must therefore wait 

And cannot come except as led by Time ! 

vill be remembered that James Otis was killed by lightning. t Chrysostom. 



I shout for joy — here on this foreign coast, 

Far distant from this sad, obsequious scene — 
To know that now, in everlasting green. 

His name shall be his Country's future boast ! 

For now the vipers who once hissed him most, 

And stung him with their venom, vile and mean, 

(Worse than the lash ! — although the lash was keen) 

All praise him ! . . . 

Heed them not, O gentle ghost ! 
For Spartacus awaits thee, I am sure. 

To bid thee welcome ! So, I ween, doth he — 
That mighty spirit of the Spanish Main, 
Hero and martyr, Toussaint L'Ouverture ! — 
Yet greater glory is reserved for thee ! 

For lo ! thy laurels have no bloody stain ! 


A friendship is a hallowed thing ! . . . To-day, 
In looking back on this of his and mine 
(Which bears a date as old as 'Auld Lang Syne ' — 

Ere yet a hair of either head was gray) — 

A life-long love ! — what tribute shall I pay 
To such a comrade ? Others may entwine 
Their ivy-wTeaths and lay them on his shrine, — 

But / am thrice a thousand miles away. 

I hope he missed me from the mournful march — 
For /, of all his lovers, loved him best : 
And love is jealous; and I envy those 
Who bore him through his last triumphal arch. 
And up the frosty hillside to his rest. 
With all the North to wrap him in its snows ! 


I knew him to the core: so it is /, — 

And not the many who belaud his name. 
Not knowing him save only by his fame, — 

Yes, it is mine to speak and testify 

What well I know: how sacred, pure and high 
Was the sublime and solitarj' aim 
Which, like the Pillar of the Cloud and Flame, 

He chose (like Israel) to be guided by ! 


Chief of his tribe, he centered in his soul — 
As their evangel — all their hopes and fears ! 
— Through all his lifetime, as their wisest head, 
He planned to lead them to some happy goal ! 
(How they will lack him in the coming years, 
And wish him back among them, from the dead !) 


I knew his latch-string — it hung always out ! 

I knew his books, ou which he loved to pore : 
His Eible — {no man ever read it more ! *)— 

His Izak Walton on Religious Doubt 

(And how to settle it by catching trout !) — 

His Shakespeare (with a bust above the door f) — 
His Talmud — and the never-tiring lore 

Which takes a Thousand Nights to tell about. 

And much he loved to con the Concord Sage, 
And Hawthorne's Hester and the Quaker Bard, 
And Uncle Tom (the " Cabin " and the " Key ") — 
And sometimes he would even read a page 
From this poor pen of mine — not for regard 
Of my dull verses, but for love of nte / 


A wistful loneliness was in his look ; 

For thus he ever bore upon his face 

(As in his heart) the sorrows of his race : 
And yet he gaily — in the walks we took — 
Would stop and chatter to a chattering brook. 

And mimic all the creatures of the place. 

And buzz in sharps, and croak in double bass. 
And caw in semi-quavers like the rook ! 

Not one of Nature's voices (he declared) — 
Whether of beast, or bird, or wind, or wave — 
Had ever chid him for his sable hue ! 
His fellow-men — and these alone — had dared. 
With cruel taunt, to say to him "Thou Slave !" 
(And were the only brutes he ever knew !) 

* speaking of his slave-life in Baltimore, he says in his Autobiography, " I have gath- 
ered scattered pages of the Bible from the filthy street-gutters, and have washed and 
dried them, that in moments of leisure Imight get a word or two of wisdom from them." 

t This house was in Rochester. N. Y., and was burned in 1S72 — with all the books 
and busts. 



He oft would bask, through all a winter's eve, 
Before his yule-log, till the fire was low ; 

And in his talk, with all his mind aglow, 
What wit and wisdom he would iuteriveave ! 
It was a hearthstone I was loth to leave ! 

— Alack ! I thither nevermore shall go ! 

— So, though my song is not a wail of woe, 
Yet such a thought is sombre — and I grieve. 

Keen was his satire ; but the flashing blade. 
Instead of poison on the biting steel, 
Bore on its edge a balsam of a kind 
Wliereby the very wouud the weapon made 
Was at the very moment sure to heal , 
And nevermore to leave a scar behind. 

If love of music be a mortal sin 

(As certain of the saints are wont to say). 

He was a sinner to his dying day ! 
For like the rest of his melodious kin 
A song was what his soul delighted in, — 

Especially some soft and plaintive lay 

Which in the old and weird plantation way 
He loved to echo on his violin. 

He touched the strings with more than rustic art ; 
For oft a sudden supernatural power 

Would swell within him — till he gave a vent 
To all the pent-up passions of his heart ! — 
So his Cremona in a troubled hour 
Beguiled for him a care to a content.* 

He came to Paris ; and we paced the streets 

As if we twain were truants out of school ! 

We clomb aloft where many a carven ghoul 
And grinning gargoyle mocked our giddy feats ; 
We made a sport of sitting in the seats 

Where Kings of France were wont to sit and rule ! 

" A throne," quoth he, " is a pretender's stool — 
For kingship is a fraud, and kings are cheats ! " 

* " Of all the interesting objects in the Museum of Genoa," he wrote, "the one that 
touched me most was the violin of Paganini— a precious object in my eyes." 


He loved a hero. Nor can I forget 

How with uncovered head, in awe profound, 
He hailed Coligny's all-too-tardy stone ;* 
And how, before the tomb of Lafayette, f 

He said, "This place is doubly sacred ground- 
This patriot had two countries for his own ! 


I here might crowd this empty rhyme of mine 
With tales of how my travel-eager friend 
(Who wished to see the world from end to end) 

Sped southward from the many-castled Rhine 

To languid Italy— a land supine. 

Yet soon to rouse herself (as signs portend), 
Though why she waits is hard to comprehend : 

Thence to the country of the Muses Nine— 

To Marathon, and to the Academe : 

Thence to the Sphinx at Ghizeh — whom with awe 
He answered— and his answer may be guessed : 

For there — in Egypt — by her classic stream. 
He said that every famous land he saw 
Taught him the more to love his own the best ! 


For though his own had been a cruel land. 

Wherein, through many a long and groaning year, 
Oppression had been bitter and austere 
(As harsh as under Pharaoh's hand)— 
Yet such a slave could never be unmanned ; 
But ever with a sweet and secret cheer 
He felt the day of freedom to be near. 
So when it came, he well could understand 
That his dear Country, long herself a thrall. 
Self-chained and self-degraded in the past — 
Till, smiting off her shackles with her sword 
She too ! — she too ! — the chiefest slave of all — 
Self-freed and self-uplifted, had at last 
Stood forth redeemed, and lovely, and adored ! 

* Admiral de Coligny was murdered in the St. Bartholomew massacre, < 
of August 24, 1572. 
t Lafayette lies in the Picpus Cemetery, rue Picpus, Paris. 



His form was like Apollo's, and his brow 

Like what the sculptors carve for Zeus' own — 
As godlike as was ever cut in stone ! 
For if the old god Thor were living now, 
With his dark visage, with his frosty pow, 

Aud with his awe-inspiring thunder-tone— 
Such a resembling pair (could both be known) 
Would pass for twin-brothers, I avow ! 

The gods are dead, and all the godlike men 
Are dying too ! How fast they disappear ! 
For Death seems discontent to fill the grave 
With common bones, but dowuward to his den 
Drags, like a greedy monster, year by year 
The men most missed— the good, the wise, the brave ! 


Spake I of goodly giants in the land ? 

And did I boast that I had known them well? 

I was a stripling : so I live to tell, 
In these degenerate days, how great and grand. 
How plain and simple, were the noble band 

Who cried to Heaven against that crime of Hell 

Which to the auction-block brought Babes to sell, 
And which on Women burnt a market brand ! 

Who were those heroes? Since the roll is known 
I need not call it : Lincoln was the chief: 
The rest were legion— name them whoso can : 
But whoso counts the list of Freedom's Own 
Must name the Chattel whom, vdX.\i pride and grief, 
We buried yesterday and called a Man ! 


What final wreath of olive, oak or bay 

(Which to withhold would do the dead a wrong) 
Is due him for the fetter, yoke and thong 

Which, as a Slave, he bore for many a day ? 


If to his wintry burial blooming May 

Had come herself, chief-mouruer of the throng, 
And stopt his bier as it was borne along, 

And laid a million lilies on his clay, — 

Not one of all these fading funeral-flowers 
Would have survived the frost ! . . . So — (since, 
Such honours fade) — my Country, hark to me ! 

Let us, in yonder Capitol of ours, 

Mould him a statue of enduring brass 

Out of the broken chains of slaves set free ? 

Pajijs, Feb. 2S, 1895. 

Our Douglass. 

Each age some hero has, whose honored name 
Becomes a household word in ev'ry clime ; 

Whose memory is cherished, and whose fame 
Is deathless, blazoned on the scroll of time. 

Of all the names upon the page of fame, 
Of all the men who in high place have stood, 
Of all whose words and deeds resplendent flame,— 
They only have been great who have been good. 

And noblest they whose daring deeds were wrought 
While in defence of liberty they fought. 

And when the record shall complete be made, 
And deeds of Freedom's heroes truly traced 

(That each be placed where merit makes his grade), 
Among the foremost Douglass shall be placed. 


Proud Switzerland (crag-locked on ev'ry side) 
May chant the praises of her Winklereid ; 
Proclaim his deeds from lofty mountain peaks 
Unto the world. With fitting pride she speaks 
Of him who broke a path for the oppressed ; 
He took the Austrian spears into his breast 
And died for liberty. 

The Em'rald Isle, 
Home of the shamrock, justly claims, meanwhile, 
The right on Freedom's altar to engrave 
The name of Emmet, or O'Connell brave. 
What though they vainly fought or vainly fell ? 
Warm-hearted Ireland's bosom can but swell 
With fond emotion at the thought of men 
Who gave their all, her honor to defend. 

If from the Scottish peak of Ben-venue 
(Whose snow-capped summit, piercing fleecy clouds, 
Its barren forehead bold forever shrouds 
In misty haze); if in the Trossach's glade ; 
On meadow heath, or in the forest shade ; 
In rocky glen of thickly-tangled brake 
Upon the shore of Katrine's dreamy lake, 
A spell be tried, to see what best-loved name 
The sylvan elves of echo would proclaim 
With most distinctness, lo ! they cry a truce — 
And sound together, Douglass, Wallace, Bruce. 

And England — boasting mistress of the seas. 
Whose flag is kissed and tossed by every breeze 
That sweeps the earth, from where the silv'rj' sheen 
Perpetual gleams from fields of virgin snow. 
To where the tropic rivers placid flow — 
Points to the monuments, on Freedom's course. 
That mark the deeds of Pitt and Wilberforce. 

Now Haiti rises from the surging waves, 
Like Neptune mounting from his coral caves. 
With sovereign dignity she calmly lifts. 
From ocean's boiling depths, her stately cliffs, 
And seems rejoicing with the elements ; 
For their wild freedom fitly represents 
The wider freedom of the habitants 
Of this lone isle, who, at the open door 
Of Freedom's temple, place their gift of pure 
And spotless manhood, Toussaint I'Ouverture ! 


Each hero of this number, in his place 
A giant stood, to shield a helpless race ; 
Each fought for right, for right a vicfry won ; 
But Liberty's great struggle yet goes on 
Against the tyrant's power. 

On nature's battlefield, day puts to flight 
The sombre-mantled forces of the night ; 
Rescues the victims from her sable clutch 
And wakens them to life with radiant touch. 
Fierce seems this conflict, but 'tis mimicry 
Beside the contest in which Liberty 
Against Cyclopean foes of right arrays 
Her Titan warriors. 

What is nature's gloom. 
Compared with darkness of benighted brains. 
Whose cells intelligence doth not illume 
With conscious knowledge ? What the lofty chains 
Of mountains, barring from the vale below 
The sun's refulgence, to the chain of chance 
Or foul design that turns the sparkling flow 
Of wisdom from the thirsty soul that pants 
For its refreshing draughts ? Or what the crash 
Of pealing thunder-bolts, when tempests rave, 
Besides the cry drawn by Oppression's lash 
From human lips ? The raging ocean wave— 
Foam-crested,— leaping toward an angry sky 
In mountain masses, turbulent and high, 
Is but the ripple of a summer sea 
Beside emotion's waves, tempestuously 
Tossing the human heart in agony. 

Amid such conflict, waged 'twixt dark and light, 
'Twixt ignorance and knowledge, wrong and right, 
Was Douglass, by the force of changeless fate, 
Huded into life, to find, at length, his place; 
A Prince in Freedom's court, though of a race 
Despised on ev'ry hand. 

Born was he, in the clutch 

Of vilest bondage, whose polluted touch 

All things defiled, and friend and foe alike 

Bound with deceptive cords till it could strike 


Its veuoui to their souls and poison thought 

Of equal justice, by a prejudice 

As wilful blind as was the avarice 

Of its red-handed champions, who sold 

Immortal human life, for blood-stained gold ! 

Like pigmies, by a giant's blows 

Repelled, the savage horde of freedom's foes 

Contended with him feebly for breath, 

Then, vanquished, fell back in that living death 

Of utter rout; while, from his arms and hands, 

Like circlets made of glass, the heavy bands 

With which 'twas sought to bind and make him fast 

In slaverj', with calm disdain he cast. 

Long had he listened while Columbia's song 

Of liberty entrancing rolled along 

In wild and beauteous strains that rose and fell 

With changeful cadences that seemed to swell 

Into a sea of music, whose vast waves 

Lashed slav'ry's stronghold, as the ocean raves 

Against the headland. 

Sweet the music fell 

On Douglass' ear and made his heart to swell 

With strong desire that could not be repressed; 

Nor ties of life nor fear of deatli possessed 

The power to turn him from his noble plan 

To battle for the "Equal Rights of Man." 

Wherever justice has an altar raised; 

Wherever liberty and right are praised, 

His name is known, 

Even age — which with its wan 

And chilling finger often withers grand 

And noble minds, or curbs with rigid hand 

Ambition's course, — was powerless to chain 

The dauntless spirit of that giant brain. 

Thou art our Douglass. To thy lofty name 

What words of praise can add one lustrous spark ? 

'Twould take a pen divine, a tongue of fire 

To coin in words the feelings of each heart. 

Thus must it be, till some historian grand. 

In this or mayhap in some distant age, 

Shall truly paint thy hist'ry, noblest of our land, 

The Nation's Hero: Anacostia's Sage ! 

William A. Joiner. 

frederick douglass. 
In Memoriam. 

Frederick Douglass. 
One whose majestic presence ever here 
Was as an inspiration held so dear 
Will greet us nevermore upon the earth. 
The funeral bells have rung; there was no dearth 
Of sorrow as the solemn cortege passed; 
But ours is grief that will outlast 
The civic splendor. Say, among all men, 
Who was this hero that they buried then, 
With saddest plaint and sorrow-stricken face ? 
Ay ! 'Twas a princely leader of his race ! 

And for a leader well equipped was he; 

Nature had given him most regally 

E'en of her choicest gifts. What matter then 

That he in chains was held ? What matter when 

He could uplift himself to noblest heights ? 

For with his native greatness, neither slights 

Nor wrongs could harm him; and a solemn wrath 

Burned in his soul. He well saw duty's path; 

His days heroic purposes did know. 

And could he then his chosen work forego ? 

Born to a fate most wretched, most forlorn ! 
A slave ! alas ! of benefits all shorn 
Upon his entrance into life. What lot 
More destitute of hope ! Yet e'en that blot 
Could not suffice to dim the glowing page 
He leaves to History; for he couM wage 
Against oppression's deadliest blows a war 
That knew no ending, until nevermore 
Should any man be called a bondman. Ay ! 
Such was a conflict for which one could die ! 

Panting for freedom early, he did dare 
To throw aside his shackles; for the air 
Of slavery is poison unto men 
Moulded as Douglass was ; they suffer, then 
Manhood asserts itself; they are too brave — 
Such souls as his, to die content a slave. 
So being free, one path alone he trod. 
To bring to liberty — sweet boon from God — 
His deeply injured race ; his tireless zeal 
Was consecrated to the bondman's weal. 


He thought of children sobbing around the knees 
Of hopeless mothers, where the summer breeze 
tlew o'er the dark savannas. What of woe 
In their sad story that he did not know ! 
He was a valiant leader in a cause, 
Than none less noble, though the nation's laws 
Did seem to spurn it ; and his matchless speech 
To Britain's sea-girt island shores did reach. 
Our Cicero, and yet our warrior knight 
Striving to show mankind might is not right ! 

He saw the slave uplifted from the dust, 

A freeman ! Loyal to the sacred trust 

He gave himself in youth, with voice and pen, 

He had been to the end. And now again 

The grandest efforts of that brain and heart 

In ev'rj- human sorrow bore a part. 

His regnant intellect, his dignity 

Did make him honored among all to be ; 

And public trusts his country gladly gave 

Unto this princely leader — born a slave ! 

Shall the race falter in its courage now 

That the great chief is fallen ? Shall it bow 

Tamely to aught of injury ? Ah, nay ! 

For daring souls are needed e'en to-day. 

Let his example be a shining light. 

Leading through duty's paths to some far height 

Of undreamed victory. All honored be 

The silv'ry head of him we no more see ! 

Children unborn will venerate his name, 

And History keep spotless his fair fame. 

The Romans wove bright leafy crowns for those 

Who saved a life in battle with their foes ; 

And shall not we as rare a chaplet weave 

To that great master-soul for whom we grieve ? 

Yea ! Since not always on the battle field 

Are the best \-ict'ries won ; for they who jneld 

Themselves to conquer in a losing cause, 

Because 'tis right in God's eternal laws. 

Do noblest battle ; therefore fitly we 

Upon their brows a victor's crown would see. 


Yes ! our great chief has fallen, as might fall 

Some veteran warrior answering the call 

Of duty. With the old serenity, 

His heart still strung with tender sympathy, 

He passed beyond our ken ; he'll come no more 

To give us stately greeting as of 3-ore. 

We cannot fail to miss him. When we stand 

In sudden helplessness, as through the land 

Rings echo of some wrong he could not brook, 

Then vainly for our leader will we look. 

But courage ! no great influence can die 

While he is doing grander work on high, 

Shall not his deeds an inspiration be 

To us left in life's struggle ? May uot we 

Do ought to emulate him whom we mourn ? 

We are a people now, no more forlorn 

And hopeless. We must gather courage then, 

Rememb'ring that he stood man among men. 

So let us give, now he has journeyed hence, 

To our great chieftain's memory, reverence ! 

Cordelia Ray. 

Frederick Douglass. 

Swnng wide, O shining portal. 

That opes to God's new day. 
Make room, ye ranks immortal, 

A conqueror comes your way. 
With greeting meet for victors 

Your hearts and hands outreach. 
Break, with glad song, this silence, 

Too deep and grand for speech. 

Greet him with martial music 

That tits a soldier's rest, 
For braver heart for battle 

Ne'er beat in warrior's breast. 
A great, white heart of pity, 

At war with sin and gloom, 
/Jis home is with the heroes. 

Stand back and make him room. 


Room for the stricken millions 

Unbound by freedom's wars ; 
To whom his strife meant light and life 

And broken prison bars. 
The love outpoured in prayers and tears 

Along the conqueror's track, 
Is his spent lo\'e and life and years 

Bringing their blessing back. 

To live that freedom, truth and right 

Might never know eclipse, 
To die — with woman's work and word 

Aglow upon his lips. 
To face the foes of humankind 

Through strife and wounds and scars : 
It is enough ! Lead on — to find 

Thy place among the stars. 

Silent another voice — that echoed the infinite chorus, 
Rising forever to heaven from hearts that are bravest and truest ; 
Pleading with God for the human, pleading with man for his Maker, 
And raising a triumph strain to echo each watchword of promise. 

Silent another voice — strong against all that was evil. 
Comforting all that were bowed, cheering and lifting the fallen, 
Sweet to the spirits in pain, the smitten of God and afflicted, 
And soft to the smitten of men, but fierce as a curse to the smiter ; 
Sounding the war cry of death to cruelty, greed and oppression. 

Silent another voice — tender with infinite pity. 
To answer with tenderest word the outcry of suffering childhood ; 
To plead for brotherly hands, to help in the saving of brothers, 
To echo, alas, that they need it ! the unspoken heartbreak of 

Silent another voice — but hark, in the infinite chorus 
Ringing forever in heaven from hearts that are bravest and truest, 
Hear we another voice, swelling the poean triumphant, 
That rises and trembles and breaks at the gates of the glorified city ; 
Silent ! Nay, nevermore silent, but echoing on down tlie ages. 

Mary Lowe Dickinson. 

frederick douglass. 
Frederick Douglass. 

Born 1817— Died 1S95, 
Fallen, to rise again transfigured, when 
Our country's grief shall pass away, and men 
Shall see the moral beauty of a life 
Unscathed by toil, thro' years of bitter strife! 
Not Vulcan at his forge struck fiercer blows; 
With every breaking chain his courage rose. 
His warfare was a mora! brittle-field, 
Where Truth and he were never known to yield ! 
'Twas his, alone, in saddest hours, to ring 
The tocsin for his brothers, suffering ! 

With ready pen, and eloquence that stirred 
The beating hearts of all who ever heard, 
This master mind refused not to rehearse 
The woes of slavery — its bitter curse. 

Foul chattel-yoke that bound him, binds not now ! 
He spurned each shackle; lifted up his brow; 
Stood forth, a man undaunted; seeking aid 
Of Heaven, until the hateful plague was stayed. 
He had no rival in his scathing speech 
Of this great wrong. No orator could reach 
Such depths of pathos — for no other knew 
The dread miasma that his life led through— 
Or, like him, weave the olive branch of peace 
In lovelier chaplet at the slaves' release. 

But, when he died, how suddenly his face 

Shone with the light that streams from honor's place ! 

Then statesmen bowed, each with uncovered head, 

Within the presence of the honored dead, — 

And wrote the name of Freedom's gifted son. 

With that of Lincoln and of Washington. 

His voice is still. The champion of his race 
Has laid his armor by; yet, in its place. 
Grand, phoenix-like, in sculpture's purest form. 
Shall stand this hero of the fire and storm ! 

Arthur Elvvkll Jenks. 

in memoriam. 
Frederick Douglass. 

This piece of mute, inert and senseless clay 
Was once a man. In all his conscious strength 
He strode upon life's pathway ; till, at length, 
The great Destroyer's shadow passed his way. 
Death, smiling, beckoned, and his victim came, 
Serene, unrufHed, calm and unafraid ; 
Not his the right to question or to blame — 
He bowed his head content and undismayed, 
And yielded Life to Death's superior claim, 
The mandate grim, with gentle grace, obeyed. 

So fate decrees ! And so the bough must bend : 
God guard thee, in thy last long sleep, my friend ! 

O, sweet, lost comrade ! All the stonny years 
That passed above thy unresisting head 
Seem like mere moments, now that thou art dead. 
And mem'ry fades amid a mist of tears ! 
Truest of friends, thou seekest restful bliss ; 
Thy soul hath sought the fate that gave it birth. 
And troops of friends, who thy kind presence miss. 
Now whisper, in thy death hour, of thy worth, 
And -say thine epitaph should read like this : 
He had no enemy upon this earth. 

So fate decrees ! And so the bough must bend ; 
God guard thee, in thy last long sleep, my friend ! 

J. H. Gray. 
Saginaw, Mich., February 21, 1S95. 

An Epitaph. 

How can we fitly praise the man 

Who sleeps beneath this sacred mound ; 

How tell the noble course he ran 
Within life's fleeting round ? 

What tongue can tell his generous love ? 

His ardent hopes for all mankind ? 
Or say how faithfully he strove 

To lift the common mind ? 


His was a power of eloquence 

To still the restless throng ; 
To hush the cry of insolence, 

And show the mighty wrong 

That ground his people in the dust, 

And roused each geuerous soul 
To indignation strong and just 

Against a crime so foul. 

But though we mourn the great niau dead, 

His influence sublime 
Still lives, and will its brilliance shed 

Far down through coming time. 

Laur.^ H. Clark. 

The Mystery of the Grave. 

Dedic.-vted to the JIemory of Frederick Douglass. 

Words by James A, Thomas. Music by Mrs. T. H. Lyles. 

O Lord, we raise our voice to Thee, 
Lift thou the veil of mystery 

That lies beyond the grave. 
We, of ourselves, must ever be 
Unworthy, Lord, to dwell with Thee, 

Yet Thou our souls canst save. ^ 

-When ni sorrow antl m weepmg 
Our loved ones are laid away ; 
Take their spirits in Thy keeping, 
Father we humbly pray. 

O help us, then, to understand 
That, following Thy high command- 

(Love God with all thy heart). 
It matters not how this poor clay 
And soul within it for a day. 

How they indeed shall part.— Cho. 


Give to us sufficient measure 
Of Thy grace to do Thy pleasure, 

'Till this life's race is run, 
A crown of immortality 
In thine own principality 

Awaits when duty's done. — Cho. 

Frederick Douglass. 

A hush is over all the teeming lists, 

And there is pause, a breath-space, in the strife ; 
A spirit brave has passed beyond the mists 

And vapors that obscure the sun of life. 
And Ethiopia, with bosom torn, 
Laments the passing of her noblest horn. 

She weeps for him a mother's burning tears — 
She loved him with a mother's deepest love 

He was her champion thro' direful years. 
And held her weal all other ends above. 

When Bondage held her bleeding in the dust, 

He raised her up and whispered, " Hope and Trust.' 

For her his voice, a fearless clarion, rung 
That broke in warning on the ears of men ; 

For her, the strong bow of his pow'r he strung 
And sent his arrows to the very den 

Where grim Oppression held his bloody place 

And gloated o'er the niis'ries of a race. 

And he was no soft-tongued apologist ; 

He spoke straight-forward, fearlessly, uncowed ; 
The sunlight of his truth dispelled the mist 

And set in bold relief each dark-hued cloud. 
To sin and crime he gave their proper hue. 
And hurled at evil what was evil's due. 


Thro' good and ill report he cleaved liis way 

Right ouward, with his face set towards the heights ; 

Nor feared to face the foeman's dread array— 
The flash of scorn, the sting of petty spites. 

He dared the lightning in the lightning's track, 

And answered thunder with liis thunder, back. 

When men maligned him, and their torrent wrath 

In furious imprecations o'er him broke, 
He kept his counsel, as he kept his path ; 

'Twas for his race, not for himself, he spoke. 
He knew the import of bis Master's call, 
And felt himself too mighty to be small. 

No miser in the good he held, was he— 

His kindness followed his horizon's rim. 
His heart, his talents, and his hands, were free 

To all who truly needed aught of him. 
Where poverty and ignorance were rife. 
He gave his bounty, as he gave his life. 

The place and cause that first aroused his might, 

Still proved its pow'r until his latest day. 
In Freedom's lists and for the aid of Right 

Still, in the foremost rank, he waged the fray. 
Wrong lived,— his occupation was not gone ; 
He died in action, with his armor on. 

We weep for him, but we have touched his hand. 

And felt the magic of his presence nigh ; 
The current that he .sent thro'out the laud ; 

The kindling spirit of his battle cry. 
O'er all that holds us we shall triumph yet. 
And place our banner where his hopes were set ! 

Oh, Douglass ! Thou hast passed beyond the shore, 

But still thy voice is ringing o'er the gale ! 
It tells thy race how high her hopes may soar. 

And bids her seek the heights,— nor faint- nor fail. 
She will not fail ! She heeds thy stirring cry ; 
She knows thy guardian spirit will be nigh ; 
And, rising from beneath the chast'ning rod. 
She stretches out her bleeding hands to God ! 

Paui, Lawrence Dunbar. 


Frkderick Douglass. 
Read at a Memorial Meeting in honor of Frederick 
Douglass, at the Metropolitan A. M. E. Church, Washing- 
ton, D. C, held February i8, 1896. 


A frame surpassing human mould, 
A brow denoting power untold, 
An eye undazzled by the sun, 

A heart undaunted by the sight 
Of ground ungained, of work undone, 
Of toil and peril for the right ; 
O slave-born child, by nature free. 
How shall we fitly honor thee ? 

O bvu-ning brain that fired the world ! 
O flag of liberty unfurled ! 

O man, to whom all fetters were 

As seven green withes in Samson's hand. 
Thy memory will always stir 
The soul of Freedom's worshipper. 
In every age and every land. 

A voice that thundered, burned and chilled, 

When tyrant Wrong usurped a throne ; 
But to a whisper hushed and stilled 

When Love recalled him to his own. 
A loyal hand, a royal heart, 

A soaring, reaching over-soul. 
Inspired and grand, he stood apart 

.'ind read the future as a scroll. 
O statesman wise, prophetic seer. 
We loose our sandals drawing near, 
Nor seek, nor hope, to find thy peer 

A slave in fetters ! Yea, a slave ! 

For only thus incarnate, he 

Could feel the curse of slavery ; 

And in his longing to be free. 
Could know the souls he came to save. 


E'en so another Saviour came — 

A babe to compass infant grief; 
A boy, to know the blush and blame 

Of eager childhood's flower and leaf ; 
A man to feel the flush and flame 
Of burning sorrows past relief ; 
To count each separate pain and grief 
And bind life's struggles in a sheaf. 
In dark Gethsemane he stood, 
Bathed in a ghastly sweat of blood, 
And saw his drowsy friends had slept 
While He His awful vigil kept ; 
And in the depth of His abyss 
He felt the sting of Judas' kiss. 
Alone He went to meet his death ; 
And heard the coward brood disclaim 
All knowledge of their Master's name ; 
While yet the blest memorial wine. 
Of His shed blood the sacred sign. 
Was fragrant on their treacherous breath. 
A " Man of Sorrows " ! Royal fame ! 

To stand, of marred and bruised, the chief! 

And, after this experience brief, 

To send adown the endless ages 

A history to crown all pages. 

A name reviled, a name adored ; 

A crucified but risen Lord ! 


Rejoice, that Frederick Douglass' birth 
Was shameful, humble and obscure ; 

Rejoice that all his matchless worth 
Was in himself, and so, secure 

From all the shocks and falls and flings 

Which mar the gloss of outward things. 

And wreck the kings who are not Kings. 
Into a slave's dread history 

His mighty spirit must be hurled 
To penetrate life's mysten,- — 

The writhing of the under-world. 

He heard the accursed serpent hiss ; 

His lips were scorched by Judas' kiss ; 

And e'en the ashes where he sleeps 

Full many a bitter memory keeps. 


Rejoice, that into all the deeps 

Of Douglass' great and fearless soul 
He felt the whelming billows roll. 

It takes a Herod on the throne 

To bring a Leader to his own ; 

And each Messiah that is bom 

Must wear the cruel crown of thorn 

Not otherwise the sinless born, 

The nimbus of a Christ had worn. 


Talk not of graves. Their billows swell, 
And grasses wave, and flowers bloom, 

Only above the empty shell. 

Weep not around that hollow tomb. 
But lift your vision to the height 
Where all our loved ones walk in light ; 

Where Freedom only is, and where 

Calm Justice broods in all the air. 

But only as we stoop to save, 

Shall we, too, rise beyond the grave. 


Rise ! Follow Douglass ! His calm feet 
Have smoothed the path wherein you tread. 

Make your discipleship complete. 
Nor fear to follow where he led. 


Your cause is mine. Though through my line 
No scar of chains attaints my blood ; 

The bondage of a sex is mine — 
The slavery of womanhood. 

By most disgraceful laws compelled ; 

Without a share in their decree ; 
Unrepresented, taxed and held 

To full responsibility ; 

Enslaved in spirit ; weak, oppressed, 

Crying in vain for liberty ; 
How were my wrongs to be redressed ? 

And who should speak to set me free ? 


Was there no man who loved his mother ? 

Not one who dared to say the word ? 
No wife's liege lord, no sister's brother, 

For woman, to unsheath his sword? 

'Twas then that Frederick Douglass rose. 

Amid our feeble band he stood 
Alone, before a world of foes, 

To champion our womanhood ! 

'Twas he, aloue, whose matchless ken 

Swept far above, beyond his brothers, 
And saw a race of freest men 

Must needs be born of freest mothers. 

That not in black, and not in white, 

God set the love o'f liberty ; 
Nor gave to men alone the right. 

The human birthright, to be free. 

Since then, from farthest pole to pole, 

The eternal truth has spread abroad. 
That Freedom is for every soul. 

Since "right is right, and God is God." 


Followers of Douglass ! Can you see 
The Woman standing on the Dome ? 
The Goddess of our Liberty ? 
Methinks she beckons you and me, 
And every humble worshipper 
Whose eager, trembling pulses stir 
With equal longings to be free. 
She whispers, " Take these watchwords three ; 
Take Labor, Love and Harmony." 

She speaks " Some sow and some may reap ; 
That some may laugh, lo, some must weep ! 
But all must watch, and none must sleep ! " 
She calls : " O ye who would be free ! 
The day to wait is over-past ; 
The time to work is here, at last ; 
Now men and women— children, come ! 
This is your year of Jubilee ; 
The world is ripe for Harvest Home ! ' ' 

Ruth G. D. Havens. 


One of God's noblemen, slave born lies here; 

Though dusky was his face his soul was white; 
He trod the path of danger without fear, 

And led his race forth into freedom's light. 

True as the faithful needle to the pole 

He marched, obedient to his duty's call, 
Till from the tenement of the bondsman's soul. 

He saw the shackles break and heard them fall. 

He saw Wrong's shattered temple tumble down, 

By conquering Justice leveled to the dust 
Before the assembled gaze of many a crown ; 

' ' Praise God, " he said. " Behold that He is just ! " 

Gather ye round his corse ; look on the face 

Of freedom's champion, who knew no fear; 
He helped to free from Slavery his race — 
A greater than an emperor lies here. 

C.^LKB Dunn. 
Morning Advertiser, a. Y. , Feb. 27, 1S95. 

Memorial Services. 

Hbbresses anb Sermons. 




Sermon by the Rev. Francis J. Grimke, of the 

Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church, 

Washington, D. C, March io, 1895. 

"And the king said unto his servants, Know ye not that there is a 
prince and a great man fallen this day?" — 2 Samuel iii. 3S. 

On the evening of the twentieth of February there passed from the 
stage of action the greatest negro that this country has yet produced ; 
one of the most illustrious citizens of the Republic, and one of the 
most remarkable men of the century now drawing to a close. The 
shock which the announcement of his death produced was all the more 
startling, inasmuch as it was entirely unexpected. There was nothing 
to indicate that the end was near. Suddenly, unexpectedly, the sum- 
mons came, and in a moment the noble form which all men knew and 
delighted to look upon, was laid low. 

To say that we miss him ; that we are deeply, profoundly saddened 
by the thought that we shall no longer hear his voice, or see his face 
in our social and public gatherings; that we shall no longer have his 
great strong arm to lean upon, and his wise counsel to guide us in the 
hour of darkness and doubt, in our efforts to solve the perplexing pro- 
blems which still confront us as a race, in this country, in the face of a 
cruel and bitter race prejudice, — is but feebly to express the sentiment 
that we all feel this morning. As David felt over the death of Jonathan, 
so do we feel. 2 Sam. i. 17-27: ".\nd David lamented with this lamen- 
tation over Saul and over Jonathan his son : The beauty of Israel is 
slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen! Tell it not in 
Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon ; lest the daughters of the 
Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph. 
Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain 
upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is 
vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed 
with oil. From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the 
bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not 
12 (177) 


fuipty. Saul and Jonathan were pleasant in their lives, and in their 
death they were not divided. They were swifter than eagles, they were 
.stronger than lions. 

"How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle. O Jonathan, 
tl;ou wast slain in thine high places. I am distressed for thee, my brother 
Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was 
wonderful, passing the love of women. How are the mighty fallen, and 
the weapons of war perished!" 

The sorrow, the deep, the almost inexpressible sorrow, which this 
ii'.an felt for his dead friend, do we feel for this great man who has now 
jiassed beyond our ken, "into the Silent Land, into the land of the 
threat departed. ' ' 

Our purpose this morning, is not, however, to use this occasion to 
puur out our lamentations, but rather to look back over that remarkable 
career covering a period of nearly eight decades, with the view of 
forming some estimate of the man, of the debt we owe him, and of 
getting from his life courage and inspiration for the future. 

I. As to the man. He was by nature cast in a great mould, — phj'si- 
c.'.lly, iutellectuallj' and morally. Physically, what a splendid speci- 
men of a man he was; tall, erect, massive, and yet moving with 
the grace and agility of an Apollo. How Phidias or Michael Angelo 
would have delighted to carve in marble or to cast in bronze that noble 
form and figure ! It was always a pleasure to me, just to look at 
him. His presence affected me like some of the passages of rugged 
.grandeur in Milton, or as the sight of Mont Blanc, rising from the Vale 
of Chamouni, affected Coleridge, when for the first time he looked upon 
that magnificent scene. I think all who came in contact with him felt 
the spell of his splendid presence. The older he grew, the whiter his 
locks became, the more striking was his appearance and more and more 
did he attract attention wherever he appeared, — whether in our streets or 
in our public assemblies. I was never more impressed with this fact than 
at the great Columbian Exposition in Chicago. One morning I had the 
pleasure of going with him to the Art Gallery. There were several 
things that he wanted to show me, he said. The first thing we stopped 
before was a piece of statuary, ' ' Lincoln Dying. ' ' We had been standing 
there but a few moments before a great crowd gathered about us. I was 
absorbed in what he was saying and did not at first notice it, but he 
took in the situation at once, — it was an old story to him, — and said, 
"Well, they have come, — let us pass on." And wherever he went in 
the building, the same thing was repeated. It seemed to me as if nearly 
everybody knew him ; but even people who were entirely ignorant of 
whom he was, were attracted by his remarkable appearance. 

Intellectually, what a splendid specimen of a man he was. His 
intellect was of a very high order. He possessed a mind of remark- 
able acuteness and penetration, and of great philosophical grasp. It 
was wonderful, how readily he resolved effects into their causes and 


with what ease he got down to the uiulerlying facts and principles of 
whatever subject he attempted to treat. Hence he was always a for- 
midable antagonist to encounter. No man ever crossed swords with 
him who was not forced to acknowledge, even when he did not agree 
with him, his transcendent ability. He had the faculty of seeing at a 
glance the weak points in an opponent's position, and with the skill of 
a trained dialectician, knew how to marshal all the forces at his com- 
mand, in the form of facts and principles, in refutation of the same. 
It was to me a constant delight to witness the play of his remarkable 
powers of mind, as they came out in his great speeches and published 
articles. He had a strong, mighty intellect. They called him the Sage 
of Auacostia ; and so he was, — all that that term applies, — wise, thought- 
ful, sound of judgment, discriminating, far seeing. 

Morally, what a splendid specimen of a man he was, — lofty in 
sentiment, pure in thought, exalted in character. Upon the loftiest 
plane of a pure and noble manhood he lived and moved. No one need 
ever be ashamed to call his name. There he stands, in the serene, 
beautiful white light of a virtuous manhood. For more than fifty years 
he has been before the public, not infrequently during that time the 
object of the bitterest hatred; and yet, during all these years, in the 
face of the strongest opposition, with the worst passions arrayed against 
him, no one has dared even to whisper anything derogatory of him, or 
in any way refJectiug upon the purity of his life, or upon the honesty 
and integrity of his character. There have been among us, in the past 
history of our race, men who were richly endowed intellectually, and 
who, like him, also possessed that rarest of gifts, — the mighty gift of 
eloquence; men who could hold entranced great audiences by the hour, 
the fame of whose eloquence has come down to us : but when you have 
said that of them, you have said all. Beyond that you dare not go. 
When It comes to character, which infinitely transcends all mere intel- 
lectual endowments, or even the gift of eloquence, we are obliged to 
hang our heads and remain silent, or go backward and cover their 
shame; but not so here. No one need ever hang his head when the 
name of Frederick Douglass is mentioned, or feel the necessity of 
silence. No man need ever go backward to cover anything in fiis life. 
There is the record, covering a period of more than fifty years. Read 
it and put your hand upon anything in it, if you can. Character, 
character, has been one of the things for which his name has always 

Physically he was great. Intellectually he was great, and morally he 
was great. Had he not been, whatever may have been his other gifts 
and graces, he never could have risen to the place of power and influ- 
ence which, for more than a generation, he has occupied. He never 
could have won for himself the universal respect in which he is held 
to-day. Had he not been sound morally, we would not be here to-day 
to say what we are saying, nor would any such gathering as assembled. 


in this city one week ago last Monday, to pay the last tribute of respect 
to his memory, have been witnessed. It was because, in addition to 
the admiration which all felt for his transcendent intellectual endow- 
ments and his marvelous eloquence there was the conviction that back 
of, and beyond, and above all these, there was a pure and exalted man- 
hood. It was because we could say of him as Mark Antony said of 
Brutus : 

"His life was gentle, and the elements 
So mix'd in him, that Nature might stand up 
And sa}' to all the world. This was a man. " 

One of the things that I am especially proud of to-day, is, that this 
greatest representative that our race has yet produced, was a pure man, 
a man of unblemished reputation, a man of sterling integrity of char- 
acter, whose example we can commend to our children, and to the gen- 
erations that are yet to come. 

Let us make much of this, and let the fiat go forth; let it ring out 
from every pulpit and from every school-house, from every hilltop and 
from every valley, that any man who aspires to leadership among us, 
must be pure. In the presence of the splendid record that is before me, 
with the full knowledge of what this man was, of what his sentiments 
were, I stand here to-day, and in the name of Frederick Douglass, I 
say to this black race, all over this country, stand up for pure leader- 
ship ! Honor the men and the men only, whose character you can 
respect, and whose character you can commend to your children. 

"God give us men; 

Men whom the lust of office does not kill ; 
Men whom the .spoils of office cannot buj'; 
Men who possess opinions and a will ; 
Men who have honor ; men who will not lie : 
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog 
In public duty, and in private thinking." 

And such was the great man whose memory we honor to-day. 

"Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mt. Zion, " is 
what the Psalmist wrote as he looked out upon the Holy City; and so 
we feel to-day, as we look upon this man, that there is a beauty, a 
moral beauty, in that life, that is to us, and will remain to us, a joy 
forever. . 

In attempting to analyze this life, with a view of forming some 
estimate of it, there are several things to be taken into consideration, — 
the circumstances under which it began, the obstacles it had to contend 
with, and what it became. 

As tc^ the circumstances under which he was bom. These may be 
briefly set forth in two statements. { i ) He was born a colored man. 
He was identified with a despised race, — a race that had no rights which 
white men were bound to respect. The condition of the colored people of 


this country, — even the free colored people, ^eighty years ago, were 
sad, inexpressibly sad. There was not even a glimmer of light on 
the horizon. All was dark, and gloomy, and discouraging. (2) He 
was born a slave, a piece of property, a chattel, a thing to be bought 
and sold, to be cuffed and kicked about at the will of another. 

The fundamental a.ssumption underlying the system of slavery was the 
suppo.sed inferiority of the negro, — the natural, inherent, God-ordained 
inferiority. Its great aim was to crush out of him every noble aspira- 
tion ; to degrade him to the level of the brute, and to make him a mere 
beast of burden. Hence it made it a crime for him to learn to read and 
write, almost to think. He was to have no views or opinions of his 
own. He was simply to reflect those of others; to be obedient to 
the mandates of the master. Its whole code of ethics was summed 
up in the injunction, "Servants, obey your masters." This man was 
born under this accursed system, a system which entirely ignored the 
fact that he was a man, or that he had the right to exercise any of the 
prerogatives of a man. This was the prevailing sentiment, not only in 
the South, but it was largely the prevailing sentiment in the North. 
Church and State were alike in league with the South against the negro. 
Almost the entire North was pro-slavery. It was worth almost a man's 
life to say a word against the Slave Power. It was in Boston, the cradle 
of Liberty, that Garrison was dragged through the streets by a " broad- 
cloth mob." It was in the State of Connecticut that Prudence Cran- 
dall's school was destroyed because she dared to admit colored pupils. 
What Theodore Parker said in his great sermon, entitled "The True 
Idea of a Christian Church!" perfectly reflects the then existing senti- 
ment of the North. "Are there not three million brothers of yours and 
mine, in bondage here, the hopeless sufferers of a savage doom ; debarred 
from the civilization of our age; the barbarians of the nineteenth cen- 
tury; shutout from the pretended religion of Christendom; the heathens 
of a Christian land; chained down from the liberty inalienable in man ; 
the slaves of a Christian Republic? Does not a cry of indignation ring 
out from every legislature in the North? Does not the Press war with 
its million throats and a voice of indignation go up from East and 
West, out from the hearts of freemen? Oh, no! There is none of that 
cry against the mightiest sin of this age. The rock of Plymouth, 
sanctified by the feet which led a nation's way to freedom's large estate, 
provokes no more voice than the rottenest stone in all the mountains of 
the West. The few who speak a manly word for truth and everlasting 
right, are called fanatics; bid be still, lest they .spoil the market. 
Great God! and has it come to this, that men are silent over such a 
sin? 'Tis even so. Then it must be that every church that dares 
assume the name of Christ, that dearest name to men, thunders and 
lightens on this hideous wrong. That is not so. The Church is dumb, 
while the State is only silent. While the servants of the people are 
only asleep, "God's mini.sters are dead." 


Such were the conditions under which this man .vas liorn, and such 
were the adverse circumstances against which he had to contend. 

In looking back over this life, in studying it carefully, as he himself 
has written it out, the first thing that impresses us, and that gives 
promise that something may yet come out of it, is his rebellion against 
this system under which he was born. It asserted his inferiority. It 
declared that he was created simply for the convenience and the pleas- 
ure of others. This, in his inmost soul, he branded as a lie. Slave 
though he was, there came welling up into his soul the conviction that 
he was a man ; and with that conviction its necessary corollary, that, 
being a man, he ought to be free. Byron, in his "Prisoner of Chillon, " 
speaks of the "Eternal spirit of the chainless mind:" and it was this 
spirit that came into his soul, and that came there never, never to be 
extinguished. The consciousness, ' ' I am a man ! I ought to be 
free!" are the two first steps in the progress of this life upwards. 

A third step was soon taken, when he plead with his mistress for the 
privilege of learning to read, and, by her a.ssistance, mastered the 
alphabet, thereby getting hold of the key which was to unlock for him 
the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. One of the most pathetic 
things in this history is the eagerness, the avidity, with which this lit- 
tle slave boy appropriated the crumbs of knowledge that lay about him. 
In imagination I can see him now, with his spelling-book concealed 
under his coat, pressing into his service his little white playfellows 
whom he met along the streets as he was sent on errands, or during his 
hours of play, — making them his teachers. The spirit of liberty is 
not only stirring in this boy's breast, but a thirst for knowledge is also 
taking possession of him. The immortal mind, that marvelous thing 
we call the intellect, is beginning to work. The alphabet is soon mas- 
tered ; the ability to read is soon acquired, and one book, at least, 
comes into his possession: — "The Columbian Orator," from which he 
drank in great draughts of the bracing air of liberty, as he studied the 
utterances of .such men as Chatham, Fox, Pitt, and others. Thus his 
ideas were enlarged and his desire to be free greatly stimulated. The 
truth of what his master had said to his mistress, when forbidding her 
to continue to instruct him, "Learning will do him no good, but a 
great deal of harm, making him disconsolate and unhappy," he began 
now keenly to realize, for he became more dissatisfied with his condi- 
tion than ever. 

In this frame of mind, a fourth step soon followed, — the solemn pur- 
pose and determination to be free is formed. It was the natural and 
logical outcome of what had gone before. I am a man. I ought to be 
free. I will be free. Garrison said, "I am in earnest. I will not 
excuse. I will not equivocate. I will not retreat a single inch, and I 
will be heard. ' ' And in the .same spirit this man says, ' ' I will be free. ' ' 
No emancipation proclamation, no stroke of the pen of the immortal 
Lincoln, gave freedom to him. He wrote his own emancipation 

fukderick DovaiAss. 1S3 

proclamation. He struck, with his own hands, the fetters from his 
limbs. On the third of September, 1S3S, he turned his back forever, 
upon slavery, and quietly .settled down in the town of New Bedford, 
Mass., where he labored, putting in coal, digging cellars, working on 
the wharves, and doing whatever he could get to do that was honorable, 
in order to make an honest living for himself and his family. Let our 
young people take note of that! It may give them a hint or suggestion 
that may be of service to them in the future. This man was not ashamed 
to work. It is hard for us to think of him as putting in coal, digging 
cellars, and as working as a common laborer on the wharves; and yet he 
did, and was not ashamed of it either. All honest toil was honorable 
in his estimation. In his new environments, in order to keep from 
starving, it was necessarj' for him to work, and he did work, and work 
hard. He did not forget, however, in the midst of his struggles to 
keep soul and body together, that he also had a mind which needed to 
be fed. He still had a desire to improve himself, the old love for 
knowledge still burned within him. And hence all the leisure he could 
command, he gave to the cultivation of his mind. He read book.s, and he 
read the newspapers, especially that great fountain-head of anti-slavery 
thought and sentiment, the Liberator. This paper he read carefully 
week by week, as it came out, with ever increasing interest and profit. 
And so things went on until 1841, when quite unexpectedly to himself, 
and only three years after his escape from slavery, he loomed into 
notice, and then began that marvelous career which ended only two 
weeks ago last Wednesday. Incredible as it may seem, in the short 
space of nine years from his escape, he was lecturing to great audiences, 
both in this country and in England, — captivating them by the magic 
of his eloquence and by his masterly appeals in behalf of his enslaved 
brethren, and was al,so the editor of a paper which took rank with such 
papers as the Anti-Slavery Standard, and others. The most w^onderful 
thing about it all is, not that he was able to talk to great audiences, and 
edit a paper, but that he was able to do these things so well? Men 
heard him with astonishment, they questioned and even doubted his 
story, and wondered whether his speeches and editorials were not 
written for him. It seemed incredible to them that he could ever have 
been a slave, or that he had so recently made his escape, or that he had 
no educational advantages. Some said right out that they did not 
believe it. Either they must deny his story, or else admit that he was 
a prodigy. And this they were not ready to do. Even many who were 
disposed to be friendly were not quite prepared, at that time, to concede 
the possibility of a negro prodigy. Their doubts did not deter him, 
however. While they were puzzling their brains, and philosophizing 
about him, he moved steadily on. Day by day he continued to grow, 
to expand, to develop. More and more did he attract attention, and 
more and more did he make his influence felt. It was not long before 
he won his way to the very front rank, and took his place by the side 

184 /A- MEMOBIAM. 

of the greatest of the anti-slavery leaders. Fifty-five years ago this man 
was unknown, save to a few in the town of New Bedford. To-day, he 
is known everywhere. Fifty-five years ago the name of Frederick 
Douglass was no more than any other name. To-day, it is one of 
earth's honored names. On Wednesday, February 20, when he passed 
away, the whole civilized world took note of it, and acknowledged that 
one of earth's great men had fallen. 

The Star of this city, in commenting on his death, says : " Of remark- 
able men, this country has produced at least its quota, and among those 
whose title to eminence may not be disputed, the figure of Frederick 
Douglass is properly conspicuous. Born into captivity, and constrained 
for years by anti-educational environment, he achieved 
greatness such as rewards the conscientious efforts of but few. " 

The Philadelphia Press says: "The death of Frederick Douglass has 
been followed by wide public notice of the honors he has received, the 
consideration with which he has been treated, and the positions he has 
filled. But it is worth while remembering, in the interest of justice 
and equality, — twin duties of the Republic, — that these honors and this 
consideration were both infinitely less than he would have received in 
any other civilized country in the world." An ex-editor in the Phila- 
delphia Inquirer says: "That the whirligig of time brings its revenges 
was never better illustrated than in the death columns of the newspapers 
yesterday. In one column, imposing headlines announced the demise 
of Frederick Douglass, ex-slave, of Talbot County, Maryland. In 
another, two lines served to chronicle the death of the last Charles 
Carroll, of Carrollton. The latter inherited great wealth and a proud 
name in American annals. The other was born a piece of animated 
chattels, without a name, taking the proud one of the master who owned 
him, and afterward discarding it for that of Douglass, with a double "s. " 
The one came from an ancestor who signed the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence. The other left children and grandchildren who are proud to 
claim him as an ancestor who helped to make possible the Proclamation 
of Emancipation. These are our two great charters of liberty. When 
history makes its final award, it will not give a higher place to Charles 
Carroll, of Carrollton, for that Magna Charta that left the black man 
enslaved, than to Frederick Douglass for the labors of a lifetime in 
securing that other, which washed out the blot on the 'scutcheon of the 
nation. It was an unconscious realization of the platitude of the Declara- 
tion of Independence, that all men are created equal, so long a mockery 
where all men were not free, that the newspapers should almost overlook 
the descendant of the ' signer' in paying an obituary tribute to the slave- 
born hero who earned a renown greater than ancestry ever conferred." 

The Philadelphia Record says: "Frederick Douglass was the most 
famous citizen of Washington. No other Washingtonian, white or 
black, has the world-wide reputation that he had. Indeed, when you 
stop to think of it, it would be difficult to name any other man, white 


or black, in the whole country, who would be as well known in every 
corner of the world, as is Frederick Douglass. Lincoln and Grant were 
such men, but I cannot think of anyone now, except President Cleve- 
land and ex-President Harrison, who are, ex-ojfficio, so to speak, our 
world-wide celebrities. Dr. Holmes was the of our men of letters 
who had this world-wide fame, and no other class of men or of women 
seems to have produced an international character in our time. Our 
great lawyers are perhaps known by lawyers the world over; our great 
physicians by physicians ; clergymen by clergymen ; journalists by jour- 
nalists ; business men by business men, and so on ; but where is the man 
or woman who is known in all countries by people of all classes?" These 
are but samples of the many comments which his death has called forth. 
There have been other men in the history of our country, who have 
ri.sen from humble beginnings to places of power and influence. Lincoln 
was a rail splitter. Grant was a tanner. Garfield was a canal driver. 
These men had no such obstacles to overcome, however, as this man 
had. They were not identified with a despised race. They were not 
born slaves. Public sentiment was not against them. The schools and 
colleges of the land were not closed to them. Every avenue was open 
to them. In his case, however, the very reverse was true. And yet, in 
spite of his environments, with everything to discourage him : with 
obstacles like mountains rising before him at every step; by the .sheer 
force of his character, by almost superhuman efforts, — for it seems 
almost like a miracle now, as we look back over that life, — 

"On with toil of heart and knees and hands. 
Through the long gorge to the far light, he won 
His way upward, " 

to a place by their side. And there he stands and will stand : not by 
sufferance either, but by right. Indeed, in view of all the circum- 
stances ; when we remember where he began and where he ended ; what 
his environments were, and what he became; he is, it seems to me, 
the most conspicuous and shining example of the century, of what 
ability, and pluck, and character, and hard work, can do to carve out 
a great and honorable career, in spite of adverse circumstances. His 
example stands colossal, to borrow an expression from Tennyson, yes, 
that is the only word that expresses it, colossal. 

Notice in the second place, if you please, the debt we owe to this 
man. Why should we, as a race, honor the memory of Frederick 
Douglass? What has he been to us? What has he done for us? It is 
impossible fully to estimate his services ; nor shall I attempt, in the 
limited time that is at my command this morning, to do so. A few 
things may be said, however, that will enable us, in a mea.sure, at 
least, to approximate the greatness of these services. 

In the first place, he consecrated to the welfare of this race, his 
splendid oratory. Who that ever heard him, can ever forget? Which 

186 IN MEMO lU AM. 

of us has not felt the thrill of his magnetic utterances? And they 
tell us that he was nothing in his later days to what he used to be 
in the prime of his splendid manhood. This tongue of fiery eloquence 
he gave to his race, and who can estimate the influence of that voice as 
it rang out in everj' part of. this country, in behalf of his oppressed 
and enslaved brethren ? W'herever he went he attracted great 

In 1852, at a meeting in one of the large halls in Thiladelphia, he 
spoke for two hours to an audience which filled everj- seat and packed 
the aisles. Ten o'clock came, and he stopped, amid the cries of "Go 
on! Go on!" He stopped and said: "I don't often have the chance to 
talk to such an audience of friends. You who are standing are cer- 
tainly wearied. We will take a five minutes' recess and allow any one 
to retire who wishes to do so. " The time was up, and he spoke for 
another hour and a quarter, but not a man or woman left. Three hours 
and a quarter is a long time to sit and listen, much less to stand, and 
yet such was the power of his eloquence, that men forgot that they 
were standing, and ceased to take note of the time. 

A writer in the New York Evangelist describes a scene which took 
place in that city, and which will give us some idea of what the effect 
of this man was, as he went from place to place, a living protest against 
the barbarism of slaverj'. He says: "When Anthony Burns was taken 
by slave-hunters in the streets of Boston, and Dred Scott was handed 
over in Missouri to his captors, by a Supreme Court decision, the end 
of forbearance had come, the limit of endurance was passed, the slave 
power had humiliated the nation. In those days it was necessary for 
politicians to 'trim ship' with extraordinary vigilance and adroitness. 
To them Douglass seemed a spectre of defeat. If he lifted those once 
manacled arms before the people, even before they caught the tremulous 
tones of his magical voice, the)' were swayed by uncontrollable emotion. 
Once, in the old Broadway Tabernacle, filled up to the dome, as Douglass 
was announced, the vast crowd sprang up as one man, and the IMarseil- 
laise\iyvan, with a refrain, 'Free soil, free speech, free press, free men,' 
rolled out through doors and windows, blocking the street with linger- 
ing listeners for a hundred yards either way. Meanwhile Douglass 
stood with bowed head, and great tears coursing down his cheeks. 
His very presence was often more effective than the eloquence of other 
men. " 

In the second place, he consecrated to the service of his race his time, 
and all the powers of his body and mind. He labored incessantly. He 
was instant in season and out of season. He worked by day and by 
night. He was at it, and always at it. The wonder is that his iron 
constitution did not give way. He himself tells us that he used to 
write all day and then take the train and go off at night and speak, 
returning the same evening, or early the next morning, only to resume 
his work at his desk. 


In addition to writing and speaking, he was also an active agent in 
the Underground Railroad, and from his bouse many a fugitive crossed 
the Hue into Canada. He labored also in many other ways. 

Some men have said that Douglass was selfish ; that he always had an 
eye to his own interest; implying that it was not the race that he was 
thinking of so much as himself. For this base insinuation, for that 
is the only term which properly characterizes it, I have only the utmost 
contempt. When I think of how richly this man was endowed, of the 
great services which he rendered to freedom and remember that his 
salary was only jiS450 a year; when I think of his self-sacrificing efforts 
to carry on his paper, the North Star, putting everj' cent that he could 
into it, even mortgaging the house over his head, I say I do not believe 
it. I have read his life carefully, and I have had the honor of knowing 
him intimately for a number of years, and as I look back over those 
years, I can recall nothing that would in any way, justify such an 
accusation. In the summary which he gives at the close of Part II of 
his life, we get a true insight into the spirit which animated him during 
his long and eventful life, as well as the motives which prompted him 
to make a record of that life. He .says : "It will be seen in these pages 
that I have lived several lives in one; finst, the life of slavery ; secondly, 
the life of a fugitive from slavery; thirdly, the life of comparative 
freedom; fourthly, the life of conflict and battle; and fifthly, the life of 
victory, if not complete, at least assured. To those who suffered in 
slavery I can say, I, too, have suffered. To those who have taken some 
risks and encountered hardships in the flight from bondage, I can say, 
I, too, have endured and risked. To those who have battled for liberty, 
brotherhood and citizenship, I can say, I, too, have battled. And to 
those who have lived to enjoy the fruits of victory, I can say, I, too, 
live and rejoice. If I have pushed my example too prominently for the 
good taste of my Caucasian readers, I beg them to remember that I have 
written in part for the encouragement of a class whose aspirations need 
the stimulus of success. I have aimed to show them that knowledge 
can be obtained under difficulties; that poverty may give place to com- 
petency; that obscurity is not an ab.solute bar to distinction, and that 
a way is open to welfare and happiness to all who will resolutely and 
wisely pursue that way ; that neither slavery, stripes, imprisonment nor 
proscription need extinguish self-respect, crush manly ambition or 
paralyze effort ; that no power outside of himself can prevent a man from 
sustaining an honorable character and a useful relation to his day and 
generation ; that neither institutions nor friends can make a race to 
stand unless it has strength in its own legs; that there is no power in 
the world that can be relied upon to help the weak against the strong, 
or the simple against the wise; that races, like individual;;, 
stand or fall by their own merits. I have urged upon them self-reliance, 
self-respect, industry, perseverance, and economy. Forty years of 
my life have been given to the cause of my people and if I had forty 


years more, they should all be sacredly given to the same great 
cause. ' ' 

There is not a taint of selfishness there. If any man ever lived who 
carried this race upon his heart, who desired to see it succeed, and who 
labored earnestly for its freedom, for its elevation, for its protection 
under the laws and in order that it might have a fair chance in the race 
of life, that man was Frederick Douglass. He loved this race with all 
the depth and strength of his great soul. One of the most touching 
things I ever heard of him was told me by a friend. He happened to 
call at the house while Mr. Douglass was preparing his great speech on 
Southern Outrages. He took this friend into his study and read him 
portions of that speech, and when he came to the part which described 
the sufferings of our poor brethren in the South, great strong man 
though he was, the tears ran down his cheeks and choked his utterance 
so that he was unable to proceed. Tell me that this man was selfish, 
that he was thinking only of himself? It will be a long time before 
this black race will have another Douglass to lean upon ; a long time 
before it will find another man to carry it in his heart of hearts, as he 
did. "Forty years of my life I have given to the cause of my people, 
and if I had forty more, they should be all sacredly given to the same 
great cause, ' ' is not the utterance of selfishness but of a great soul whose 
chief desire was the good of his people. As the exiled Jews felt toward 
the Holy City, "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget 
her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the 
roof of my mouth, if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy," so 
felt he toward this race. It was ever uppermost in his thoughts, and 
never did he forget it for a moment. 

In the third place, it was due largely to the influence of Mr. Douglass, 
that the colored man was allowed to shoulder his musket and strike a 
blow for his own freedom and for the preservation of the Union. In 
chapter eleventh of his Life, entitled "Secession and War," he says: 
' ' When the government persistently refused to employ colored troops ; 
when the emancipation proclamation of General John C. Fremont, in 
Missouri, was withdrawn ; when slaves were being returned from our 
lines to their ma,sters; when Union soldiers were stationed about the 
farm-houses of Virginia to guard and protect the master in holding his 
slaves; when Union soldiers made themselves more active in kicking 
colored men out of their camps than in shooting rebels; when even Mr. 
Lincoln could tell the poor negro that "he was the of the war," 
I still believed, and spoke as I believed, all over the North, that the 
mission of the war was the liberation of the slave, as well as the salva- 
tion of the Union : and hence, from the first, I reproached the North 
that they fought the rebels with only one hand, when they might 
strike effectively with two; — that they fought with their soft white 
hand, while they kept their black iron hand chained and helpless 
behind them; that they fought the effect, while they protected the 


cause, and that the Union cause would never prosper till the war 
assumed an anti-slavery attitude and the negro was enlisted on the 
loyal side. In every way possible, — in the columns of my paper and 
on the platform, by letters to friends at home and abroad, I did all 
that I could to impress this conviction upon this country." 

And when the general government finally came to its senses, and 
Governor Andrew, of Massachusetts, was given permission to raise two 
colored regiments, it was through the columns of his paper that the 
cry rang out, "Men of color. To arms! To arms!" It was his pen 
that wrote the burning words, "Liberty won by white men would lose 
half its lustre. Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow. " 
"Better even die free, than to live slaves." "By every consideration 
whicli binds you to your enslaved fellow countrymen and to the peace 
and welfare of your country — by every aspiration which you cherish 
for the freedom and equality by yourselves and your children ; by all 
the ties of blood and identity which make us one with the brave black 
men now fighting our battles in Louisiana and in South Carolina, I 
urge you to fly to arms and smite with death the power that would bury 
the government and your liberty in the same hopeless grave. " He 
also took a very active interest in .securing just and fair treatment for 
the colored soldiers, after his services were accepted. To this end he 
not only wrote and spoke, but visited Wa.shington and had an inter- 
view with President Lincoln and Secretary Stanton, in which he urged 
the right of the colored soldiers to receive the same wages as the white 
soldiers; the right of the colored soldier to receive the same protection 
when taken prisoner, and be exchanged as readily and on the same 
terms, as any other prisoner ; that if Jefferson Davis should shoot or hang 
colored soldiers in cold blood, the United States Government should, 
without delay, retaliate in kind and degree upon Confederate prisoners 
in its hands, and that, when colored soldiers performed great and 
uncommon services on the battlefield, they should be rewarded by 
distinctions and promotions, precisely as white soldiers are rewarded 
for like services. " And he never ceased to press this matter upon the 
attention of those in authority until the end he aimed at was accom- 

In the fourth place, he rendered also important services in 
bringing about the enfranchisement of the race. Even Mr. Garrison 
and other anti-slavery leaders questioned, at first, the wisdom of such 
a step, but this man never doubted, never hesitated. To him suffrage 
was nece.ssary to enable the negro to protect himself, and hence, to it 
he addressed himself with all the earnestness of his nature, using all 
the means within his power to secure it for him. "From the first," 
he say,s, "I saw no chance of bettering the condition of the freedman 
until he should cease to be merely a freedman and should become a 
citizen. I insisted that there was no safety for him or for anybody else 
in America outside the American government; that to guard, protect 


and maintain his liberty, the freedman should have the ballot ; that the 
liberties of the American people were dependent upon the ballot box, 
the jury box, and the cartridge box ; that without these, no class of 
people could live and flourish in this country ; and this was now the 
word for the hour with me, and the word to which the people of the 
North willingly listened, when 1 spoke. Hence, regarding as 1 did, 
the elective franchise as the one great power by which all civil rights 
are obtained, enjoyed and maintained under our form of government, 
and the one without which freedom to any class is delusive, if not 
impossible, I set myself to work with whatever force and energy I pos- 
sessed, to secure this power for the newly emancipated millions." 
With this end in view he, with other gentlemen, brought the matter to 
the attention of President Johnson, and the next morning published a 
letter which was very widely commented upon, and which had the 
effect of bringing the subject prominently before the country. He also 
spoke very earnestly before the National Loyalists' Convention which 
met in Philadelphia in September, iS66. He also labored personally 
with many Senators, when the matter was before that body, visiting 
them daily and pressing upon them the necessity and the justice of the 
measure. And so he continued to work until he had the satisfaction of 
seeing it enacted into law, in the foiiu of the Fifteenth Amendment to 
the Constitution. 

There are many other things that might be mentioned under the gen- 
eral head which we are considering, but time will not permit. Suffice 
it to say that, during the last half century, there has been no measure 
looking to the betterment of our condition as a people in this country, 
in which be has not been a leading actor. For more than fifty years he 
has allowed no opportunity to pass unimproved, in which, either by 
his voice or pen, he could make the way easier and the future brighter 
for this race. Whenever we have needed a defender, he has always 
been on hand. Whenever there were rights to be asserted, he has 
always stood ready to make the demand, never lagging behind, but 
always at the front. For more than fifty years he has stood as a sentinel 
on the watch-tower, guarding with the most jealous care the interests 
of this race. I remember how I felt when he was appointed Minister 
to Haiti. I did not want him to go, and I wrote and told him so, and 
told him why. It was because I felt that we could not spare him out 
of the country. It seemed to me that our interests would not be quite 
so safe if he were away. The very fact that he was here filled me with 
the assurance that all would be well. And this is the way, I think, we 
all felt a sense of security in the consciousness of the fact that he was 
in our midst. 

In politics he was a Republican. He loved the grand old party of 
liberty, — but when it proved recreant to its trust; when it was ready to 
sacrifice the negro, to trample him in the, to put him aside, out 
of deference to popular prejudice: then it was that he turned upon it. 


and cauterized it with actual lightning. I shall never forget the article 
which he wrote ou the reasons for the defeat of the Republican party, 
which w;is published, 1 think, in Harper's Weekly. It was a masterly 
arraignment of that party for its cowardice and its perfidy, and showed 
how deeply concerned he was for the welfare of this race, and how he 
was ever looking out for its interests. In the twenty-fifth chapter of 
the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is represented in the great day of solemn 
account, as saying to those on His right hand, "Come, ye blessed of my 
Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of 
the world; fori was an hungered, and ye gave me meat, I was thirsty, 
and ye gave me drink, I was a stranger, and ye took me in, naked, 
and ye clothed me ; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and 
ye came unto me. " And this is what we can all say, to-daj', as a race, 
as we think of this man. He has been all to us that is here implied. 
In our distress and suffering, in our hours of loneliness and despond- 
ency, when we have felt discouraged and sick at heart, he has stood by 
us, and watched over us, and ministered to our necessities, and cheered 
us by his voice and presence. What is it that he has not done? In 
what way has he not manifested his interest? What more could he 
have done than he has done? 

There are many other things that I would like to .speak of, had I 
the time. I would like to speak of some of his personal traits and 
characteristics : of his gentleness, his .sympathetic nature, his tender- 
ness, his generosity, his great-heartedness. There was nothing mean, or 
close-fisted, or penurious, about him. God blessed him with means, 
and he used it for the glory of his Maker, and the good of his fellow 
men. He was all the time giving to some good cause, or reaching out 
a hand to help the needy. We went to him when we started the move- 
ment for the purchase of the building on Eleventh street, for the use 
of the Young Men's Christian Association, — which was made necessary 
because black men were shut out of the one on New York avenue ; let 
it be said to their shame! I never pass that building and look up at 
the name inscribed upon it, — "Christian Association, " — without feeling 
that it is a libel upon the holy religion of Jesus Christ. As well write 
it over the portals of perdition, as there, and expect me to believe it. 
It is a lie! The great man whom we honor to-day, utterly loathed the 
spirit which made such a lie possible, and which, years ago, nearly 
drove, and to-day, is driving, some of our most gifted men into infi- 
delity. If there is any Christianity there, it is a spurious Christianity. 
It is not the Christianity of the Bible. There was no colorphobia in 
Christ, and there is none in Christianity, whatever may be the practice 
of so-called Christian men and women. 

When we were making arrangements to purchase the building on 
Eleventh street, as I have said, we, in company with the International 
Secretary, Mr. Hunten, called upon Mr. Douglass, and laid the matter 
before him. He listened to us, and when we were through said, 


"Gentlemen, I am not a rich man, — I cannot give yon as large a sub- 
scription as I would like to, but I will do something. Put me down 
for two hundred dollars. ' ' And that is but a sample of what he was 
constantly doing. 

Many years ago, in the cit}' of Baltimore, before he made his escape 
from slavery, while he was working in one of the ship3'ards, he was set 
upon by some of the white laborers, mobbed, and dreadfully beaten, and 
came very near losing his life. The cry was, "Kill the nigger!" Among 
those who took up that crj', and who tried very hard to kill him, was a 
man who, up to a short time ago, was still living in Baltimore. He was 
then old, decrepit, sick, and in great destitution. Mr. Douglass heard 
of it, called upon him, spoke kindly to him and, in parting, left a ten 
dollar bill in his hand. It was a beautiful thing for him to do. It was 
a noble thing, and it was just like him. He was all the time doing 
noble things. God bless his memory and give us more men like 

I might also speak of his love of the beautiful, in art and in nature. 
At the great Columbian Exposition, the Art Gallery was a constant 
delight to him. He reveled in its treasures. And how he loved all 
nature, the flowers, and the gra-ss, and the trees, and the birds, and the 
drifting clouds, and the blue sky, and the stars. He had a poet's love 
for nature. With Wordsworth he could say : 

"To me the meanest flower that blows can give 
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears. " 

How often I have heard him speak, as I have sat with him on the 
front porch of his beautiful home, or under the trees on the hillside, 
with the lovely landscape stretching out on all sides around us, — of the 
pleasure which it gave him, the satisfaction, — how it rested him to 
commune with nature. 

I might also speak of his love for music, his passionate love for 
music, especially the music of the violin. He had a kind of reverence 
for that instrument. It seemed to him almost like a living thing. How 
lovingly he handled it. With what enthusiasm he spoke of it. He 
could hardly resist the temptation of speaking to a man who carried a 
violin. He used to say "No one man can be an enemy of mine who 
loves the violin. " He never missed an opportunity of hearing a great 
violinist. He heard them all. It was his favorite instrument. Not 
even Paganini himself had a more passionate love for it. He delighted 
also in vocal music, especially in sacred music, — in the old hymns of 
Zion that breathe the sentiment of love, of trust, and of hope. One of 
his favorite hymns was: 

"Jesus, my Saviour, to Bethlehem came, 
Seeking for me ! Seeking for me! 


With the refrain : 

Oh, it was wonderful — blest be His name! 
Seeking for me, for me!" 

Another was : 

•'In Thv cleft, O Rock of Ages 

Hide Thou me; 
When the fitful tempest rages, 

Hide Thou me; 
Where no mortal arm can sever 

From my heart Thy love forever, 
Hide me, O Thou Rock of Ages, 

Safe in Thee. ' ' 

That hymn I shall never forget. The last time it was my privilege 
to be at his house, only a few weeks before he passed away, after dinner 
was over, we all repaired to the parlor, and he himself suggested that 
we .should have some music. His grandson Joseph was there, and we 
knew therefore that there was a rich treat in store for us. In the singing 
he was the principal figure. Standing in the broad space opening into 
the hall, with violin in hand, he struck up the last mentioned hymn, 
"In Thy cleft, O Rock of Ages!" and sang it through to the verj- end, 
with a pathos that moved us all. We all .spoke of it afterwards. It 
seemed to so take hold of him. The closing lines especially, seemed to 
touch the great depths of his nature. I can almost hear now, the deep 
mellow tones of that voice, and feel the solemnity that pervaded the 
room as he sang the words: 

"In the sight of Jordan's billow, 
Let Thy bosom be uiv pillow ; 
Hide me, O Thou Ro'ck of Ages, 
Safe in Thee, ' ' 

as if he had a kind of presentiment that the end was near, that he was 
already standing on the very brink of that Jordan over which he has 
since passed, and over which, one by one, we shall all pass. The 
prayer which he uttered that night, 

"Let Thy bosom be mv pillow. 
Hide me, O Thou Rock of Ages, 
Safe in Thee. ' ' 

I believe has been answered. His noble head was pillowed, I believe, 
on the bosom of the "Strong Son of God," when he fell asleep iu 
death, and that he is safe in Him. 

It is hard to realize that he is no longer among us; that we shall no 
longer see his noble form, nor hear his elocjuent voice, nor receive from 
him the gracious benediction of that radiant smile which so often played 
upon his face. 


He is gone, but the memory of his great deeds remains. Never, can 
we forget him. Never, can we cease to hold him in grateful remem- 
brance. What he was, and what he did, will remain to us forever, a joy 
and an inspiration. 

"Mourn for the man of amplest influence, 
Yet clearest of ambitious crime : 
Our greatest, yet with least pretence. 
Rich in saving common sense. 
And, as the greatest only are. 
In his simplicity, sublime. 
O good gray head which all men knew, 
O voice, from which their omens all men drew, 
O iron ner\'e to true occasion true ; 
Oh ! fallen at length, that tower of strength. 
Which stood foursquare to all the winds that blew. " 

To those of us who are members of the race with which he was iden- 
tified, let me say, Let us keep his shining example ever before us. Let 
each one of us, individually and personally, endeavor to catch his noble 
spirit; to walk upon the same lofty plane of a pure and exalted man- 
hood, upon which he moved ; and together, in the consciousness of the 
fact that he is no longer with us, let us consecrate ourselves, with what- 
ever powers we may possess, to the furtherance of the great cause to 
which he gave his life. 

And may I not also, in his name, appeal to the members of the 
opposite race, especially to those who revere his memory, to join with 
us in continuing to fight for the great principles for which he con- 
tended, until, in all sections of this fair land, there shall be equal 
opportunities for all, irrespective of race, color, or previous condition of 
servitude; until to borrow the language of another, "character, not 
color, shall stamp the man and woman," and until black and white 
shall clasp friendly hands, in the consciousness of the fact that we are 
all brethren, and that God is the father of us all. 


Memorial Address, ry Rev. J. E. Rankin, D. D., 

President of Howard University, 

Washington, D. C. 

Members of St. Mark's Lyceum, Ladies and Gentlemen, Citizens of 
New York: 

No greater occasion could have called you together. When you do 
honor to the memory of Frederick Douglass, you do honor to yourselves ; 
you do honor to humanity; you do honor to God. When God finishes 
a life, it is as though he had written a book. He writes it and gives it 
to us to read. For the last half century there has been no more unique, 
no more important or remarkable figure in the history of American 
civilization. Ex-Senator Evarts has said : "He was one of the greatest 
Americans of this century. ' ' He combined in himself an epitome of 
what American slaverj' was ; of what noble ambitions it sometimes 
repressed; of what fires of genius it sometimes quenched; of what 
treasures untold, what immortal possibilities were in its ashes. He 
stood forth an illustration of the mean meanness of the falsehood that 
all great gifts, intellectual and moral, are of Anglo-Saxon origin ; that 
it is only the Caucasian whom God made in his own image. With his 
crown of snow he towered to mountain heights among the great men 
of his generation, and greeted them as neighbors; in no respect dis- 
credited, in no respect overtopped. Notwithstanding all the vicissi- 
tudes of his eventful career when like clouds around a mountain 
summit they had passed, his figure stood there serene and unmoved. 
It will so stand forever, for death has only made permanent what life 
had done. This is my text : 

Isaiah, xiii. 12. — "I will make a man more precious than fine gold; 
even a man, than the golden wedge of Ophir. " 

It is a new valuation of a man which a nation makes, when with the 
mailed hand of war she smites the chains off four million bondmen and 
makes them free; takes off the petty price put upon their muscles and 
bones, and labels them with the valuation of their Creator, God. There 
was a time, even before the Emancipation Proclamation, when the golden 
wedge of Ophir would have been a high price to pay for Frederick Bailey, 
otherwise Frederick Douglass ; but it was when he was in England, 
where the slave-holder could not sample him, nor the slave-owner 
deliver the goods, and when the day of his return was not quite certain. 
When on February 20, last, Frederick Douglass died, it was the closing 
of an epoch — the epoch of emancipation, of the new valuation of man. 
This is the way to study human history, by epochs; to study 
epochs by great men. ' ' There is One that openeth and no man shutteth ; 
that shutteth and no man openeth." God has shut this epoch. He is 
a God that hideth Himself. When the Hebrew babe, Moses, was taken 

196 L\ MEilORIAM. 

from the waters of the Nile, no one but the God of Abraham, Isaac and 
Jacob knew, that this was the great leader and legislator of Egypt's 
escaping bondmen; that he was to divide seas, smite rocks, bring manna 
from heaven; take from God's own hand the tables of the law, amid 
the portents of Sinai. "And when she had opened the ark she saw the 
child and the babe wept." No other advocate was there then, and no 
other was needed, than those tears. This babe might have become the 
son of Pharaoh's daughter and his mummied image been exhumed in 
the line of the Pharaohs, but God had a grander role for him, and in 
his bottle he gathered these tears. This was the way in which God 
caused this barque, braided by the fingers of a mother's love, and com- 
mitted to the waters by a mother's faith, to float its infant occupant 
into the palace of the Pharaohs. For he was to suck the breast of kings. 
He was to need all the accumulated wisdom of Egj'pt. This was the 
way in which God began the political history of a people whose sacred 
books were to dominate the civilization of the whole earth. 

And here is another great leader, the babe, Frederick, just as care- 
lessly treated in his beginnings. If God does not remember him, who 
will? When an heir to an earthly throne is born, every precaution is 
taken to prevent the surreptitious introduction of a changeling, in 
whose veins flows no royal blood ; his birth hour is witnessed and 
recorded ; every care is taken of his infancy and boyhood ; everj- advan- 
tage of culture is provided for his unfolding manhood; universities 
open to him their golden gates; dignities and titles are conferred upon 
him, and he goes on in his upward ascent, till he reaches the seat, to 
which he has been all his life long the heir-apparent. But this heir- 
apparent, this Frederick Douglass, was born a waif, out of Christian 
wedlock, in a slave cabin in Maryland. He was herded with other slave 
children, as the young of animals are herded, that in due time he might 
be ready as waiter, as field hand, if need be for the market, the auction- 
block, and cotton plantation, extinction in Alabama and Louisiana. 
There are colored men who are ashamed of their origin, who make a 
very minute mathematical calculation — a kind of homeopathic dilution, 
and the finer they reduce it the more potency — they are high dilution- 
ists, —to determine how little African blood flows in their veins. It was 
not so with Frederick Douglass. He had the courage of his color : to 
stand as God made him. He speaks of his male ancestor as his pre- 
sumed Anglo-Saxon father! But toward his Afro-American mother his 
heart yearns all his life long. Her face follows him into his boyhood 

She broods over him, as with angel wings. Can you think of 
anything more pathetic than his protracted search of some picture, 
some woman's face, which shall recover to his memory his mother's 
scattered features? This was the woman, lost from the page of earthly 
life, who, had she known the future of her son's greatness, might have 
said with Eve, of her first-born, "I have gotten a man from the Lord. " 


Although this man, unlike the other, was williug to become his 
brother's keeper. 

In a volume on the "Types of Waiikiud, " which in his travels Mr. 
Douglass found in Loudon, occurs a face, which finally answers to the 
tenacious memories, the eager yearnings of his boyhood. It is not the 
face of a woman, but the face of one of Egypt's Pharaohs, Rameses 
the Great. A face, young, beautiful, with regular feaures, and great 
pathetic eyes, as though already bewildered at the crowd of life's mys- 
teries. The old slave law made the children follow the destiny of the 
mother. It was a law of thrift that seemed to comfort the mother, and 
was sure to enrich the master. It sweetened the mother's present lot, 
but also embittered her anticipations. There is something of the same 
law in men of great and original genius. They seldom resemble their 
father, but trace their greatness to their mother. And X like to recall 
these brave words of this most remarkable of the Afro-American 
race; the man who had charmed two continents with his eloquence; 
who carved his way from a Maryland slave-pen to the court of kings ; 
the man who made his generation confront again the old Egyptian 
type of kings; whose very physiognomy reminds you of the face of the 
Sphinx. These are his words: "I am happy to attribute any love of 
letters I may have, not to my presumed Anglo-Saxon paternity, but to 
the native genius of my sable, unprotected, and uncultivated mother ; 
a woman who belonged to a race whose mental endowments are still 
disparaged and despised." "Presumed Anglo-Saxon paternity !" "Un- 
protected mother!" Ah, what volumes are in this phraseology. He 
could not forget the indignity which gave him birth. If he blushed, it 
was not for his mother! 

It was into the immediate group of illustrious men, every one of 
whom deserves a statue in Monumental Hall, Capitol Hill, Washington, 
that God set this young man, a black diamond of the first water, at the 
outset of his career. It is Ru.ssell Lowell who says that Abraham Lin- 
coln reminds us of the men in Plutarch's Lives. It was a period that 
made such men. There were scores of them all over the land. They 
seemed to spring from the earth. It was true of Lloyd Garrison, with 
his deathless utterance : "In the name of God, who has made us of 
one blood, and in whose image we are created, in the name of the Mes- 
siah, who came to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to 
the captives, I demand the immediate emancipation of those who are 
living in slaverj' on American soil." "I am in earnest, I will not 
equivocate, I will not excuse, I will not retreat a single inch, and I will 
be heard. " Martin Luther over again. It was true of Wendell Phillips, 
of whom I have heard Mr. Douglass speak with unqualified affection ; 
of Wendell Phillips, "the expectancy and rose of the fair state," who 
was born to the eloquence and culture of noblest New England as his 
native right; within his easy reach any prize, whether literary, legal, 
political, which he niic;ht care to seize, and who counted every proud 


possibility dross, if he might plead the cause of the down-trodden ; who, 
for more than a generation, lived a man without a country, because his 
country could have never a slave; that he might show comradeship and 
sympathy for Frederick Douglass and his race; whose eloquence was so 
courtly and so faultless, that you scarcely realized how deadly and over- 
whelming it was, until you saw the havoc it had wrought: it was true 
of John Greenleaf Whittier, the Quaker poet, who consecrated his lyre to 
one single theme, contented in his seclusion to write the poems of the 
nation, while other men fought the battles and made the laws; it was 
true of George B. Cheever, the man with the Hebrew prophets' utter- 
ance and the mission of Elijah ; of Henry Ward Beecher, whose heart 
was a warm-pulsing heart of love, whose pulpit was a throne of strength, 
and whose church was a refuge for the fugitive, and who fought the 
nation's battle with the beasts of Ephesus in the traffic marts of our 
Mother England. 

Yes, this young man grew into his true stature among these giants, 
and men like them, not one whit behind them in stride or achieve- 
ment. Not one of them had a more magnificent physique; erect as an 
Apollo, broad-shouldered as an Atlas, with the dignity and grace of a 
courtier, and the bearing of a king, with a voice from depths that 
were cavernous; that awakened vibrations which seemed to make the 
very walls tremble; and with a theme such as only a man born in 
American slaverj' and a fugitive from it, could have. These were some 
of the men to whom God had given a special commission, to preach 
freedom to the captives, and the opening of the eyes to the blind; this 
was the circle of gathering orbs which made up the sj-stem, which under 
the planet Mars was to bring redemption to four million of bondmen. 
In eloquent speech, in patience, in wisdom, in comprehensive power, 
perhaps none of them was his superior; while certainly none of them 
had such a rare combination of equipment as he. 

The greatest of all American orators, Daniel Webster, has said of 
eloquence, that it "comes not from far. It is in the man, the subject, 
the occasion. " No man ever realized these conditions more completely 
than Frederick Douglass. He was all three in one; a triune argument 
against slavery. He was the man, the subject, the occasion. Of the 
system of American slavery he had a compend in his own person. On 
every leaf she had written with her own hand; or, if she could not 
write, she had made her mark. He was a bound volume, on which she 
had stamped everywhere, as the librarians stamp their volumes: "My 
book!" She had inscribed her image and superscription on the bleeding 
back of his budding manhood. He could say to all his compeers, great 
as they were, "Are they apostles of freedom? I am more! Born of a 
slave mother, herded in a slave-pen, shut behind the bolts of a slave 
prison, in weariness oft, in hunger and thirst, the knowledge of letters 
forbidden me, a type of Christianity pressed upon my soul that made 
me execrate it, that made me execrate the hour of my birth, the day 


wheu they said, 'A man-child is boru. ' " Ah! he had only to let the 
fire of his imagination kindle, and it all came back ; that forlorn 
infancy, that struggling boyhood, when sea-going ships as they passed 
out on the bay seemed to beckon him with their white wings out to an 
ocean of new possibilities; that young manhood, when for a time the 
walls of his priKou-house began to shut him in, as in the contracting 
compass of an inexorable cage; that flight for freedom, the first breath 
of free air under the light of the North Star, when he could stretch 
himself starward. He had only to let out the dimensions of his soul, 
and speak what was in him ; to stand before audiences in New England 
ind Old England, not as an angel hurled out of heaven for rebellion, 
as Milton's was; but as a creature made in God's image, capable of any 
angel flight of thought, capable of any masterful phrase of speech and 
now taking the wings of the morning and pleading for himself and his 
downtrodden race, that they might have a chance to show what God 
meant bj making them. 

Mr. Webster gave that definition of eloquence as a preface to his 
imaginary speech of John Adams, urging the adoption of the Declara- 
tion. Doubtless the eloquence was all there, as he described it. We 
have all felt it there. It was a great soul pleading the cause of his 
native land, in its sublime beginnings. Thus, too, O'Connell and 
Louis Kossuth urged the claims of Ireland and of Hungary. But what 
was the Stamp Act and the Tea Tax, what was Great Britain's tyranny 
over Ireland, or Austria's injustice to Hungary, compared with the 
cause of humanitj-, as represented in Frederick Douglass by Frederick 
Douglass, aye, in millions of God's creatures, held by American law in 
bondage! He was only a sample. The audience could sample him. 
Well might he, as he heard the great Webster's impersonation of John 
Adams, as he heard the fiery periods of O'Connell, the elegant phrases 
of the fer\-id Kossuth, and saw how they were moved, and how they 
moved their auditors — well might he remember what Hamlet said to 
himself after listening to the plaj'ers: 

"All for nothing! For Hecuba! 

What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, 

Th.'it he should weep for her? 

What would he do. 

Had he the motive and the cue for passion 

That I have? He would drown the stage with tears. 

And cleave the general ear with horrid speech. 

Make mad the .guilty and appal the free; 

Confound the ignorant and amaze; indeed 

The very faculties of eyes and ears. ' ' 

Do not misunderstand me. The love of country is the greatest theme 
of the mere orator. It made Demosthenes eloquent. It has made all 
his successors so. But there is something larger than countrj'. There 
is something, without which country is only sterile acres of dirt. It is 


humanity. And this something else was the cause for which Frederick 
Douglass lifted up his magnificent utterance. The love of country 
is great, but the love of humanity is greater. One is human, the other 
is divine. The love of country inspired the Hebrew lyrist to say, "If I 
forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning, and let 
my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth." The love of humanity 
awoke from the eternities that sweetest voice which earth ever heard, 
"Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, good will to men!" The 
love of country has called together the sages of many a senate, the 
heroes of many a battlefield; but the love of humanity has filled the 
world with the signs and wonders which press everywhere and eternally 
after the cross of the Man, Christ Jesus, the only conqueror who moves 
without fleets and armies, without war or battle sound, and whose suc- 
cesses and triumphs need no after treaties or arbitrations ; and when 
the South surrendered, though it was to the commander of our military 
forces, it was really to Him, whom the Almighty had made a leader 
and commander of the people, of humanity's self; to Him, who 
dwelleth between the cherubim, and who before Ephraim and Benjamin 
and Manasseh had stirred up his strength and come and saved us. 

When Frederick Douglass was twenty-seven years old, he was one of 
the fifty thousand that stood on the slope of Bunker Hill, and heard the 
stentorian voice and the majestic form of the great Constitutional 
statesman, Daniel Webster. In Maryland he had beguu with the 
"Columbian Orator," and here he was! What a day was that to this 
fugitive from American slavery! Here was the man, the model orator 
of the period, peerless among our great men, as a Mass'ichusetts senator 
has lately said, "The solitary peak of great altitude between Washing- 
ton and Lincoln," and deserving to be so classed; the man who did 
more to make real the idea of American nationality, than all our other 
statesmen put together. The serious, pathetic eyes of this young man, 
Douglass, were looking up into his face. If no one else heard him, 
this young man did. And when with his comprehensive delineation, 
at the close, the speaker described the happy homes of freedom in New 
England, with her school-houses and churches, think you this Maryland 
boy, who had stolen his little education by scraps, and stolen his person 
in bulk, did not think of the contrast? And when Mr. Webster closed 
with the sentiment, "Thank God, I am also an American!" think you 
Frederick Douglass had no sinking of heart? What a gulf and separa- 
tion there was between them? A gulf which no thought could span! 
The time is coming when the work done by Mr. Webster and the work 
done by Frederick Douglass will be more closely united. History will 
join them together, for one prepared the way for the other. 

No being but God meant the freedom of the slaves by the civil war. 
Let us tell the truth about it : Not the South, of course, not the North, 
— Mr. Lincoln did not. The first enlisted soldiers did not. Arms were 
taken up, battles were fought, to defend the life of the nation, to save 


the Union. Mr. Lincoln wrote to Horace Greelej-, "If I can save the 
Union without destroying slavery, I shall do it." Mark that! Honor 
to whom honor is due! And the cohesive power that held the nation 
together more than two years, till its necessity became God's oppor- 
tunity, was the very sentiment which Mr. Webster had so often incul- 
cated : "Our country, our whole country, and nothing but our country !" 
And this same President Lincoln, who had so written to Horace Greeley, 
at length came to say in the second inaugural : "The Almighty has His 
own purposes. Fondly do we hope, ferventl}' do we pray that this 
mighty scourge of war may pass away. Yet, if God wills it to continue, 
until all the wealth piled up by the bondman's two hundred and fifty 
years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood 
drawn by the lash, shall be paid by another drawn by the sword, as was 
said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, 'The judgments 
of the Lord are true and righteous altogether !" ' That was ou March 4. 
1S95. A few weeks later he had himself become the supreme illustration 
of the reverent sentiment; fulfilling the prophetic word he had uttered 
in Philadelphia, on his way to what became to him the altar of sacrifice ; 
as though the nation's heart was smitten as one, when he fell. 

Yes, in the matter of emancipation, God only was great. His thoughts 
were not man's thoughts. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh. 
Frederick Douglass and his princely compeers were too fast. They 
wanted the fruit, even though they had to cut down the tree. They 
would have liberated the slaves at the expense of the life of the n.ition. 
God kept back the hand of the Chief Executive till the time was ripe 
for the deed ; till the hour when the nation could be recast ; could be 
poured anew from the alembic of civil war, and come forth, not like 
Nebuchadnezzar's image, a conglomerate, part metal and part cla}-. 
Then John Brown's soul in the eternities could keep step to the music 
of the Union, and still be marching on ; then the silver-tongued Phillips 
could urge enlistments, could lift aloft his country's flag; then the poet 
of peace and of the people of peace, could write : 

"It is done! 
In the circuit of the sun. 
Shall the sound thereof go forth ; 
It shall bid the sad rejoice; 
It shall give the dumb a voice ; 
It shall belt with joy the earth. ' ' 

"Ring and swing 
Bells of joy! on morning's wing: 
Send the story of praise abroad; 
With a sound of broken chains. 
Tell the nation that He reigns, 
Who alone is Lord and God!" 

God looked to it that to Himself should be all the glory. Ah ! what an 
hour was that ! The great Webster had gone broken-hearted, disappointed 

202 AV MEMO MIA 31. 

to his grave. The people did not love him as h? loved them. They 
knew he was great, but they thought that greatness could die alone. 
We thought he did not know the day of our visitation. Whittier had 
tried to cover up his shame. God had indeed spared to him the sight 
he so much dreaded, as he expressed it in 1830, "the sun shining on 
the broken and dishonored fragments of a glorious Union ; on States 
dissevered, discordant, belligerent, on a land rent with civil feuds, or 
drenched it might be in fraternal blood!" The same sad apprehension 
haunted him in his oration on laying the corner-stone of the Capitol 
extension. That Capitol, God did not intend should be completed, till 
its crowning figure, the Goddess of Liberty, could no more look <lown 
upon slaves; till the solecism in our civil fabric was burned and purged 
away. Every stone of the new building was to be baptized in blood. 
The extension went on. The dome went up, to the tune of Dixie; to 
the mutterings of Confederate cannon ; almost to the shouts of the cap- 
tains, they were so near; for, on Munson Hill the Confederate flag was 
in plain sight. The old Capitol had echoed to the words of the Dred 
Scott decision in the Supreme Court room ; to the parting phrases of men 
who were going out from us, because they were not of us, on the field 
and in the forum, to undo the work of the Continental fathers; had 
echoed to the fratricidal blows that fell on the head and shoulders of 
Charles Sumner. The new Capitol was to see the work of the fathers 
completed; the Declaration of Independence no longer "a glittering 
generality," a philosophic abstraction; amendments to the Constitution 
itself, which should bring it into harmony with the Declaration, and 
even representatives of the repentant si.ster-states, and clothed in their 
right mind, and again contributing, with sable associates, lately in 
slaverj', to the carrying on to the end of time of the annals of the 
Great Republic. 

The great orbs of our Jupiter Tonans, the nation's greatest debater, 
never saw that horrible vision. But it came. His son's eyes saw it, 
and within sound almost of the very Senate-chamber, where in 1830, 
this greatest of all his father's pleas for the nation was thundered, that 
son's blood stained the soil of Virginia. The nation saw it and was 
not afraid, for she began to feel the shadow of the Unseen One lea<ling 
her on. The nation saw it and did not see death. The world saw it, 
and saw, too, the uprising, which at last swung open the golden portals 
of freedom, and let in the light of God upon the souls of four million 
bondmen, who had been crying, like the martyrs under the throne, 
"Oh, Lord, how long!" 

It has been said that Mr. Douglass hated religion, hated his countr}-. 
The dilemma in which Mr. Douglass found himself was this: As to the 
country, if the Declaration of Independence were true, in fighting the 
slave laws of the land he was defending her against herself — protecting 
her better self from her inferior self. As to the Church of Christ, of 
Him, who came as the Great Comforter, and who said, "All things 


whatsoever ve would that men should do to )'ou, do vl even so to 
them" — Who represented that Church better than he? Scheffer's 
"Christus Consolator" embraces a group of sufferers, turning iniplor- 
ingh' to Christ for help, among them a slave with broken chains. In a 
certain prayer-book, given afterward to Mr. Beecher, the figure of that 
slave had been maliciously cut out. That was what, to Frederick 
Douglass, the Church seemed to have done. She had cut out the figure 
of the slave from the group of suffering ones around the Son of Man. 
Did he love his country less, when he urged against her, her own 
ideal? Did he love the Church the less, when he reminded her of the 
words that fell from the lips of Him who spake as never man spake? 
He was called an infidel, a blasphemer. Have we forgotten with what 
epithets the men of his day assailed the .Son of Man? What was Mr. 
Douglass trying to do? He was trying to cast out the demon of .slavery, 
not in his own name, or the name of the Church, but in the name of 
the Head of the Church. He appealed from Christianity to Christ ! He 
was trying to make the family possible, manhood, womanhood, child- 
hood, possible: to make a place again for a colored man arouud a 
Christian altar. 

It has been said Frederick Douglass had no learning, was not a 
scholar. WTiat is learning? Wliat is scholarship? Here was a man 
who, without a knowledge of a single sentence in the original ever 
uttered by Demosthenes or Cicero, came so to speak, as to .stand to his 
own people, as they stood to theirs, to be their great model in secular 
speech for all time. Here was a man, who, though he had never read a 
line in the original of Heroditus or Thucj'dides, of Livj' or Tacitus, 
knew so well the mastery of his native tongue, in which derivatives 
from both of these languages abound, that few men ever wrote it better 
than he; few men ever made it a more telling vehicle, whether of 
logic, of irony, of wit, of all the arts of rhetoric. As to books studied 
in the universities, doubtless Mr. Douglass was not learned. But wis- 
dom is better than learning, and learning is useful only as it makes 
men wise. The world is full of learned men that are fools. The more 
they learn the less they know. Here was a man who picked up his 
knowledge as the beggar picks up his pennies, or the rag-picker his 
rags, one at a time, who became so affluent and accurate in the use of 
words, that never charmer charmed more wisely in speech, than he. 
Take an illustration : Frederick Douglass was in Faneuil Hall when 
news came of the fall of Richmond. The whole population was alive 
with joy. As was usually the case wherever he happened in a public 
assembly, the people began to call for word from his sagacious lips. 
He did not at once respond. When he arose, he was borne forward to 
the platform on the shoulders of the eager crowd, and when his great fig- 
ure was visible on the stage, the applause was like the thunder in the 
heavens, and the roar of the sea when there is a great tempest. Few 
were his words, his heart was so full, the occasion was so great. He 

204 IN ME3I0RIAM. 

spoke less than five minutes, and he reached his climax when, compar- 
ing the slave power to Dives and the poor slave to Lazarus, he con- 
cluded : "And it came to pass that the beggar died and was buried, 
and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom : the rich man 
also died and was buried, and in hell he lifted up his eyes being in 
torments and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. ' ' The 
aptness of the comparison, the fitness of the allusion to the President, 
captivated the audience, and that great tempest of jubilation broke 
forth again and again. And who could come after the king? 

The agency of Mr. Douglass in the enlistment of colored troops 
should not be forgotten; it helped to bring 200,000 troops into the 
Union army. In his Rochester paper, the North Star, appears this 
appeal : ' ' Men of color, to arms ! When the rebel cannon shattered the 
walls of Sumter and drove away its starving garrison, I predicted that 
the war then and there inaugurated, would not be fought out entirely 
by white men. Every mouth's experience during these dreary years 
has confirmed the opinion. A war undertaken and carried on for the 
perpetual enslavement of colored men calls logically and loudly for col- 
ored men to suppress it. Only a moderate share of sagacity was 
needed to see that the arm of the slave was the best defence against the 
arm of the slave-holder. Henceforth with every reverse to the national 
arms, with every exulting shout of victory raised by the slave-holding 
rebels, I have implored the imperiled nation to unchain against her 
foes, her powerful black hand. Slowly and reluctantly that appeal is 
beginning to be heeded. Stop not now to complain that it was not 
heeded sooner. This is not the time to discuss that question. Leave 
it to the future. When the war is over, the country is saved, peace is 
established, and the black man's rights are secured, as they will be, 
history, with impartial hand, will dispose of that and sundry other 
questions. Action ! Action ! and not criticism is the plain duty of the 
hour. The office of speech now is only to point out when, where and 
how to strike to the best advantage. There is no time to delay. The 
tide is at its flood that leads on to fortune. From East to West, from 
North to South, the sky is all written over, 'Now or never!' 'Lib- 
erty won by white men would lose half its lustre. ' I have not 
thought liglitlj' of the words I am now addressing j-ou. The counsel I 
give comes of a great observation of the great struggle now in progress, 
and of the deep conviction that this is your hour and mine. I wish I 
could tell you that the State of New York calls you to this high honor; 
but we can get at the throat of treason through the State of Massachu- 
setts. She was first in the War of Independence; first to break the 
chains of her slaves; first to make the black man equal before the law; 
first to admit colored children to her common schools, and she was first 
to answer with her blood the alarm cry of the nation, when its capital 
was menaced by rebels. You know John A. Andrew. You know 
Charles Sumner. I need not add more. " 


I do not say thai this is equal to the speech which Mr. Webster puts 
into the mouth of John Adams. I do not care to compare the two ; but it 
is up to the height of the emergency. It is full of antithetic brilliancy 
and fer\-or and power. Which emergency was the greater it would be 
difficult to say : even historians will differ. 

The Fifty-fourth Regiment, the first colored regiment raised by 
Mr. Douglass' appeal, was commanded by Robert G. Shaw; for the Old 
Bay State must be here, with her stars. In it were Mr. Douglass' two 
sons. It was the only regiment the poet, Whittier, ever saw, as it set 
out from Boston for the seat of war. Of this young hero, after his 
death leading the assault at Fort Wagner, Whittier says: "As he rode 
at the head of his troops, he seemed to me beautiful and awful, as 
an angel of God come down to lead the of freedom to victory. 
I am sure his parents would not exchange their dead son for any living 

In his later years Mr. Douglass was ofteu urged to take up his resi- 
dence in some black belt of the country, and seek a place in the halls 
of Congress. He knew the danger of such an attempt too well. His 
style of eloquence was after the highest models. He knew there was 
not much market for this commodity in the Capitol. He knew noth- 
ing of the supple methods of the modern politician. Think of this 
man buying a seat in Congress! Think of him as corruptible and cor- 
rupting! Think of a star buying a place in the firmament, diverging 
one hair's breadth from the path of its orbit! It is true his figure 
would have graced any legislative body ; his words of wisdom would 
have weighed their full weight, where once Webster and Sumner had 
spoken, and the robes of a senator would have become him well. The 
Empire State could have given them to him, but when they offered him 
this Saul's armor, he knew it was not fit for him, and though he had 
bandied the sword of the conquered Goliath, he preferred to leave it 
hanging in freedom's halls as a trophy. He was content to go down 
to his grave in peace, modestly filling positions, to which spirits of a 
far inferior make were amply competent. Madame Necker has said : 
"Eminent positions are like the summits of rocks; only eagles and 
reptiles can get there. ' ' Creatures that fly and creatures that crawl ! 
Crawling never had been in his line, and he had folded his great wings 
in the eyrie of freedom, and did not care to stretch them again for 
such a flight as this. 

One sad thing about the last days of great reformers is the fact that 
the movements in which they have participated often seem to fall short 
of their expectation, or move on beyond them, and leave them stranded, 
like a disused vessel. Even Martin Luther when withdrawn from his 
great life-work had his days of sadness. Daniel Webster retired to Marsh- 
field, like another lion of Lucerne, with his wounded paw still on the 
shield of the Constitution. Horace Greeley was tempted by the flesh-pots 
of Egypt, lost his balance, and died under a cloud, and Charles Sumner 


said once to General Howard that his life was a failure, and out of 
harmony with the great constituency which had hailed him as their 
expounder, with the hero and statesman, who had taken the perils of a 
five years' war to make good his own brave words in the Sen ate- chamber, 
he passed away. But, either from the more perfect poise of his nature, 
or from his education of half a century in waiting, or the good provi- 
dence of God, Mr. Douglass was more fortunate. He did not die 
without the sight. There on Cedar Hill, Auacostia, in a substantial 
Maryland mansion, to which his many friends often made a pilgrimage, 
and whose hospitalities were always free, he waited till his change 

The waters of the Anacostia and Potomac greeted each other with 
responsive flash beneath his gaze. Beyond and above him lifted to his 
eye the dome of the Capitol. Daily he saw the sun from the East gild 
the statue of Liberty on the summit, descending till all the snowy arch 
was illuminated and the building flooded with light. It was a perpetual 
parable of the manner in which the nation itself had been flooded with 
glory. Daily, too, he saw the same orb go down in the West, and 
thought of his own sunset of life, as he verged toward his four-score 
years. There, in a domestic circle, full of large intelligence and true 
Christian culture, a circle of which he was always the central attraction 
and the radiant centre, might he well say, with Simeon of old, "Now, 
lettest thou thy servant depart in peace; for mine eyes have seen thy 
salvation." When he began life, he saw the very Church of Christ 
inexorably involved in the coils of a system as unlike to Christianity, 
as darkness is to light. He saw the Republic, which had proclaimed 
to the world the truest evangel of freedom ever framed, feeding with 
its mother breast the progeny of a great wrong that was taking its very 
life-blood. He had seen the Church delivered ; the nation born again, 
and now what remained of life? The majority were on the other 

A few weeks before he died, in the church where he statedly wor- 
shiped — Metropolitan Methodist— for he had come back to die on the 
bosom of that Jerusalem, that is the Mother of us all, Mr. Douglass 
appeared at a concert, given by the friends of the family to a young 
grandson about departing for Europe to perfect himself on the violin. 
After a few well-spoken words on the power of music, in the last 
number he accompanied this young man on the violin, playing a second 
part to "Home, Sweet Home." The gray-haired veteran, the strong 
young man — it was a moment of simple and touching grandeur; a duet 
never to be repeated. Thus he, The Old Man Eloquent, entered into 
the aspirations of the future, in the person of his grandson. This was 
flesh of his own flesh, al)out to seek his fortune abroad. He was no 
stranger to the instrument. It .sometimes had been to him as the harp 
of David, the shepherd boy, to the evil spirits of King Saul. But, as 
1 recall the scene, it has another meaning now. It seemed like the 


orchestral overture, which preceded the chorus of the angels so soon to 
break upon his ear in our Father's house of many mansions; in that 
home, which, after long exile on earth, rises to the vision of the redeemed 
soul with its celestial sweetness. For though this man's great battles 
were all over, God took not away from him the pillar of the cloud by 
day and the fire by night. With long life he had satisfied him. Ilis 
former anti-.slavery associates, the later recruits that took up the battle, 
public men, who had been prominent actors with him in speech and 
deed, had nearly all fallen asleep. The land had been a generation at 

Mellowed by age, modest over his wonderful triumphs, kindly 
and forgiving, thus God took him. In a moment, in the twinkling of 
an eye, the summons came. The great heart, that had beaten so 
bravely, ceased. The strong man bowed himself. The tent was struck, 
was folded together, and Frederick Douglass, the light of emancipation 
on his brow, the trumpet-call of the emancipating angel in his ear, 
surrendered his spirit back to God who gave it. Let us thank God that 
he lived. 

His influence on the great future has but begun. He is the typical 
man to the .\fro-American, as Washington, as Lincoln, to the 
Anglo-American ; the man that never dies. There cannot be another 
Frederick Douglass. The mould is broken. My Maryland has no more 
such clay. The voice of the oppressor is no more heard in her land. 
But to the end of time there may be thousands of young men and young 
women who have entered into his labors : who are noble, as he was 
noble; heroic, as he was heroic; like him, patient and forgiving and 
strong; abiding in God as he abode, and building themselves into the 
certainties which are to come. This man lived a pure life, paid his 
honest debts, left a name unspotted, was good as well as great. He took 
no fragments of the Decalogue down into the grave. Put his figure in 
bronze. Show the Titan whom God raised up, as he raised up his men 
of old, took from a slave-pen of Maryland and set him on high, as her 
greatest son ; whom God baptized in His own blood, drawn by the slave- 
holder's lash, lest he ever should forget the companions of his prison- 
house, or his great mission in their behalf; dowered with great gifts, 
clothed with great honors, and finally from his own Christian home 
translated so that he should not see death. Yes, put his figure into 
bronze. Call your children after him, but repeat his life. Go abroad 
upon sea and land, and wherever there is wrong, seek to right it ; 
wherever there are chains, seek to break them; wherever there is lone- 
liness and sorrow, bear the cup of consolation, and remember how only 
in the Man, Jesus, God has made "man more precious than fine 
gold, even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. " Help to publish 
that word of God, that evangel of freedom in all the earth. Thus will 
Christ's kiagdom come and His will be done on earth, as it is in 


National Dovglass Memorial Meeting, at Fif- 
teenth Street Presbyterian Church, 
Washington, D. C, April 2, 1895. 


Prayer, Rev. Wm. V. Tunuell 

Introductorj- Remarks, Robert H. Terrell 

Resolutions, Frederick G. Barbadoes 

Remarks, Dr. Chas. B. Purvis 

Remarks, Rev. Alexander Crunimell 

Remarks, Hon. John S. Durham 

Solo, Mrs. Lena Miller McKinney 

Tribute, Charlotte Fortin Grimkd 

Remarks, Hon. John R. Lynch 

Remarks, Hon. P. B. S. Pinchback 

Remarks, Rev. Rush R. Shippen 

Douglass in History Rev. Wm. A. Creditt 

Benediction Rev. Francis J. Grimk^ 

Accompanist, . . . Miss F. S. Bruce 

Prayer by Rev. Wiluam V. Tunnell. 

Almighty Father, it is but fitting that as we begin these exercises, 
we should lift up our hearts and voices in praise and thanksgiving to 
Thee, the author of every good and perfect gift, for Thy great benefits 
to us. Thine own children. We adore Thee for Thy loving kindness 
and for Thy many and great bestowments, and especially do we thank 
and praise Thee for the gift to us and the world, of Thy late servant 
whose life and influence and achievements, we are here to commemorate. 
We thank Thee for his beneficent life and ser\'ices, for the high purposes 
and aspirations with which Thou didst so richly endow him, for his 
struggles and labors in the cause of freedom and human rights, for his 
manifold endowments of body and mind, for the spirit of courage and 
kindness, of streugth and generosity, and above all, for a soul which 
loved truth and purity and honor above every other possession. Great 
God help us to imitate him in all the nobilities of his character; fill us 
with his antipathy against all wickedness and his warm and tender 
sympathy with all that is good and true. Enable us to devote our 
talents and powers to the same great cause for which he fought, struggled 
and died, and help us to emulate his noble example and to follow in 
the footsteps of his heroic and valorous spirit. up for us, we 
pray Thee, some EHsha, upon whom his mantle may fall, and may the 
young of our race hold his life up before them as their ideal of struggle 
and aspiration of purity and honor and as the gauge and prophecy of 


their own possibilities^. And when our lives are ended may we hand 
over to surviving generations a memorj' and an influence as fragrant 
and blessed as his, and may we meet him in a happy and blessed 
mansion on the bright and shining shore. Then shall we see Thee as 
Thou art and then shall we praise and worship Thee as we ought. 

All these blessings we ask in the name of our Blessed Saviour, Jesus 
Christ, our Lord. Amen. 

Introductory Rem.\rks by Robert H. Terrell, Presiding 

The life of Frederick Douglass is one of the brightest spots in the 
realm of thought and fact in American history. A career like his speaks 
for itself; it needs no encomium to keep the memory of its maker fresh 
in the minds of men. We pay our simple tributes to Frederick Doug- 
lass not because we believe that eulogy can heighten the glory of his 
fame but because we would give expression to our gratitude that such 
a man has lived and proved that ambition, genius and courage are gifts, 
not of race or condition, but of God alone. 

The great journals of our land have sung the praises of Frederick 
Douglass, as a hero fallen; men everywhere have extolled his virtues as 
a public man ; but our eulogies are uttered in a sadder tone and our 
songs of praise are sung with a deeper pathos than theirs because we 
lived with him from day to day and enjoyed the fragrant beauty and 
quiet goodness of his private life. To us, residents of the nation's capital, 
Frederick Douglass was at once a great man, a race champion and a 
personal friend. 

In America more than in any other country men begin life with 
nothing but their hands and make their way to power, influence and 
wealth. We never tire of telling the story of Lincoln, the rail-splitter; 
of Grant, the tanner; and of Garfield, the tow-path boy. These men 
started life with nothing but their hands, but those hands were theirs. 
If we think their greatness is enhanced by the fact that from a state of 
early disadvantage they became great men in a great country, what shall 
we say of Frederick Douglass who owned nothing, not even his hands, 
when he began the struggle of life? Frederick Douglass did not have 
greatness thrust upon him bj' the adventitious aids of office and its atten- 
dant prestige. But with those in high position opposed to the freedom, 
enlightenment and elevation of him and his race — over all obstacles, 
both natural and artificial, he made his way to a lofty place among 
men. Instead of gaining glory by the virtue of office, the purity of his 
life, the simplicity of his character and his radiant mental gifts, shed 
a lustre on every position to which he was appointed. 

God has a purpose in giving to the world great men. The intellect 

of Bacon, the eloquence and knowledge of Mansfield, and the genius of 

Napoleon, made their everlasting impress upon the world. God sent 

Frederick Douglass to right a great wrong ; to teach a nation that crime 


210 IN MEM0RIA3I. 

never pays and that every r.ian should he allowed every right and liberty 
compatible with the rights and liberties of everj' other man. 

Frederick Douglass was the pilot of his race as well as its spokesman. 
It is hard to imagine what its future will be without his counsel and 
leadership. I say with Emerson, "Our helm is given up to a better 
guidance than our own; the course of events is quite too strong for any 
helmsman, and our little wherry is taken in tow by the ship of the great 
Admiral which knows the way and has the force to draw men and States 
and planets to their good. " 

Frederick Douglass deserves well of his country. His name will be 
a household word among the American people, implying greatness, 
purity and all Christian virtues. His memory will be cherished as long 
as men worship at the altar of energy, intelligence and liberty. 

This resolution was then adopted ; 

Reiolved; That it is the sense of this meeting of citizens assembled 
in representative numbers and capacity, at the capital of the nation, 
that, in the death of Frederick Douglass, America has lost a most dis- 
tinguished son, and the negro race a leader and champion whose whole 
life was one of unswerving devotion to their redemption from slavery, 
their rights as citizens, and their progress as a people. That fame and 
honor from no condition rise, was exemplified in his life, more than in 
that of any other man of his time. He was born a slave, yet he became 
a chieftain in the army of anti-slavery men and women. For twenty- 
five years his clear voice, in stentorian tones, rang out for the nation- 
ality of freedom. His battle cry was, "Let my people go!" His 
contribution to the anti-slavery cause makes a splendid chapter in its 

The storj- of his own sorrows and sufferings, no less than his 
eloquence, touched the hearts of two continents, and did much toward 
winning for the millions of bondmen in America, the sympathy of 
Christendom. And when the emancipation and the enfranchisement of 
his people came, he turned his attention to their preparation for 
citizenship, with all its dignities and responsibilities. His voice and 
his pen and his personal influence were always enlisted in the cause of 
the oppressed. He believed profoundly in the brotherhood of humanity 
and in the equality of races, and during his entire life, he never once 
compromised his convictions to any expediency or policy for the purpose 
of advancing his own personal ends. Everj-where in his speeches and 
writings shine out noble sentiments and lofty standards of duty, — 
indices of the purity of his thoughts, the greatness of his sou!, and the 
beauty of his character. The lessons of his public career will be an 
inspiration to the present and future generations of American negroes, 
bean inspiration to righteous determination and aspiration for attaining 
the highest possibilities of our country. His private life was such that 
mothers will endeavor to teach their sons to emulate it and to keep it 


constantly before them as an ideal. We mourn the loss to our country 
of so great a citizen. 

The Address of Dr. Purvis. 

A/r. President, Ladies and Gentlemen : 

Six weeks ago, the good people of this community were shocked by 
the announcement that Frederick was dead. Although it has 
been six weeks, it seems to most of us as though it were but yesterday. 
I have not sufificient control over my feelings to voice the sentiments I 
entertain in regard to him. I view with pleasure the outpouring of the 
people here and elsewhere, who vie with each other in honest endeavor 
to pay reverence and homage to the great citizen who has so recently 
and suddenly been called from us into a new life. Although he lived 
to a ripe age, still his death was inopportune. I cannot tix the timtf 
when it would have been otherwise. 

With his colleagues he has fought and won many battles in behalf of 
outraged humanity, and yet there has been no final victory; his grand 
self, his presence, his superb voice, his lofty thoughts, his logic, his 
rhetoric, his incomparable oratory, seem to be as much needed to-day, 
as they were fifty years ago. 

I feel his going as a personal less. I am conscious, quite too con- 
scious, that I shall never again interchange with him opinions on the 
questions or topics of the day ; nevermore shall I gather from his field 
of plenty, a rich harvest of thought and suggestion. Every man and 
woman in this audience feels that they, too, have sustained a personal 
loss; their leader, representative, adviser, advocate, is beyond their 
reach, no longer in touch with them. 

His going is a loss to this community, to the nation. He belonged 
to no special class or race. He was essentially an American. He rep- 
resented the nation's best. During his fifty years of labor, he voiced 
the noblest sentiments of his country. It matters not what cause he 
represented (and he represented many), in them all he displayed soul, 
scope of intellect ; in them all he was intrepid. 

We mourn his death, but he is not dead. We grieve because he has 
gone away, but he has not gone. To such a spirit as his, there is no 
death ; to such a life, so replete with marvelous achievements, there is 
no going away. He lives, and will continue to live for ages to come. 
His star will never set. His name will always adorn the pages of historic 
biography. He will ever stand forth resplendently amid the galaxy of 
great men grown upon American soil during the century. How could it 
be otherwise? With every great reform he has been identified. Every 
movement to preserve his country's honor, to lift it into a higher civiliza- 
tion, to secure for it a purer Christianity, has found in him a pleader. 

To know Mr. Douglass, to know his life, is to familiarize one's self 
with the most intense chapters of American historj' ; not to know him 
would be inexcusable ignorance, ill becoming any American. 


He began life by telling the wrongs of slavery. The anti-slavery 
apostles welcomed him with open arms. He was a splendid recruit, he 
came equipped for battle ; he knew more, he felt more, he could tell more 
about slaver}', than any other man : he could not exaggerate ; his 
pictures were vivid ; they stirred the .souls of men, they converted them 
to the cause of humanity, in spite of themselves. Upon one occasion, 
after making a running recital of the greatness of his country, of its 
.seemingly inexhaustible resources, its varied climate, its fertile soil, its 
mighty .streams, its lofty mountains, its mines of wealth, — he paused 
and to his audience, already hushed into silence, charmed by the vivid 
picture, said "And yet, there is no mountain so high, no valley so 
deep, no plain so extensive, upon which I can stand and call these hands 
my own. ' ' 

Upon another occasion when his soul was stirred to its depths and his 
heart wrought with anguish, as he reflected upon his condition, the 
condition of the mother who bore him, the condition of the millions in 
bondage, he cried out in despair, "I would welcome a thunderbolt from 
heaven or hell, that would dash the American Union to pieces." He 
saw that, by the destruction of the Union, the slave could come forth 
into the broad sunlight, a man and a freeman. He believed that, as 
Lowell beautifully expressed it : 

' ' Man is more than Constitutions. Better rot beneath the sod. 
Than be true to State and Church, while doubly false to God. ' ' 

I do not think that Mr. Douglass was a special creation, designed for 
a certain work. He was a unique creation, however. A man of his 
heart, soul and brain, would have been great in any age. 

His love for liberty was not narrow, or confined to any or race. 
He was among the first to stand by Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stan- 
ton, Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, Abby Kelley Foster and others, in 
advocating and demanding equal political and civil rights for woman. 
He was for Woman's Rights when many of the present advocates 
were in doubt as to the wisdom and propriety of such demands. With 
equal power he pleaded the workingmen's cause. He has pleaded for 
Ireland and Irishmen ; he rose superior to the fact that, in the Irish- 
man, the slave found a foe. 

He cogently advocated the cause of temperance ; the emancipation of 
man from himself, from a habit that destroys his moral nature, that 
unfits him for the duties and responsibilities of life. A few years ago, 
when statesmen with large political aspirations were vying with each 
other in pushing the Chinaman to the wall, Mr. Douglass came forward 
entering an able and eloquent protest. He cared not for the physical 
or civil peculiarities of the Mongolian, he only saw that a wrong was 
being done to a man and a brother. He needed no other incentive. 

It is no hyperbole to call him a great man; we cannot measure him 
by any modern standard. Men are called great by virtue of their 


achievements, b)' what they have accomplished for a race or a nation. 
While Mr. Douglass can be compared with any of the great public 
characters of the country, no one of them can be compared with him. 
We must estimate him from the depths from whence he came, as well 
as by the heights he reached. He was born in the lap of oppression. 
From infancy to manhood, he saw and felt only the sting and wrong 
of a nature outraged. The future held out no hope ; there was no 
incentive, nothing to inspire. State and Church, Society in general 
were opposed to him. When he cried for bread, they gave him a 
stone. And yet, this young man, threw from him the oppressors' 
joke, and, at the age of twenty-five, leaped into the arena and defied a 
nation. After fifty years of unceasing labor he lays down his life, in 
obedience to a divine call, mourned by the noble and the brave 
throughout the land, eulogized as one of the foremost orators and 
reformers of the age. 

Is such a man not great? Show me another who has accomplished 
as much under the same circumstances, and I will point you to a 
second Douglass. 

To speak of him as an orator; — No finer has been born during the 
century. Orators are not made by schools or colleges, Thej' are a 
special creation to represent the wisdom of a generation. It is difficult 
to compare him to anyone; possibly he was more like O'Connell than 
any other. He had a similar cause to defend, and like him a race 
oppressed for which to plead; both were thoroughly identified with 
their cause. 

It mav be invidious to compare him with any American and yet I 
should like to. 

Wendell Phillips was unquestionably the Cicero of the century; of 
perfect mould, graceful to a fault, a ripe scholar, classical, the po.sses- 
sor of an analytical mind, a vocabulary of great range, a voice of superb 
tone ; he could make an audience think, cheer, laugh, and angry ; Mr. 
Douglass could do all these and more, he could make an audience crj'. 
He lacked Mr. Phillips' grace, finish, culture, but Mr. Phillips was a 
trained man, of patrician blood; he had inherited everything; he had 
wealth, was educated in the best university, and from birth was sur- 
rounded by the culture of the land. Mr. Douglass inherted nothing; 
he was a self-made man. In many respects he resembled Daniel Web- 
ster; of the same majestic form, possessed the same sonorous voice, 
with its wonderful flexibility. While he enjoyed not Webster's inheri- 
tance, environment, training, he had tlie same cast of mind. Webster's 
legal training and possibilities developed him into the marvelous man 
he appeared to be, but, in originality of thought, of expression, in 
epigrammatic sentences, Mr. Douglass was his equal ; in his ability to 
personate a character, he was his superior. Webster once said, when 
smarting under the criticism of his friends for his apostasy, his surren- 
der to the slave power, his violation of the moral law, "It is foolish to 

214 h\ MEilORlAil. 

attempt to re-enact the laws of God." Mr. Douglass, in reviewing 
him, said, "It is than foolish to attempt to re-enact any other." 

I have seen it stated that he was not a scholar. This is a mistake. 
It is true he did not have the advantages of an early education, nor 
had he perfunctorily passed through a college; nevertheless, he was 
well traine<l. He had a comprehensive mind and soon .saw the impor- 
tance of, and the advantages to be gained from, an education ; he 
became a hard student, he employed tutors ; in the course of a few 
years he mastered the language. He was well read, was an excellent 
conversationalist, and liked to discuss religion, history, science and 

For fifty j'ears he enjoyed the association of the most cultured men 
and women in this country and in England; such was his education, 
it was of the best. His lecture on "William the Silent" will take rank 
as a literary effort. General Grant styled his eulogy upon Lincoln as 
the best analysis he had ever heard, of the great President. 

The study of Shakespeare was a pastime with him. Few amateurs 
could excel him in the delineation of his characters. He would have 
made an ideal Othello, if he had chosen the stage as a profession. 
Salvini would have found in him a formidable rival. 

No man in this community knew him better than I. From my boy- 
hood I have followed and watched him. When I first saw him, he was 
in the midst of the tempest of anti-slavery agitation. I have seen him 
as the girded knight arrayed for battle. I have seen him in the quiet 
of his home, where he always appeared to the best advantage, when 
his golden thoughts fell like dewdrops from Heaven. I have seen him 
as United States Marshal, when he was abused, persecuted, maligned 
by the Press and the pro-slavery spirit of this community. I have seen 
him as Minister accredited to a foreign country. It mattered not how 
you saw him or where you saw him ; he was the same modest, well- 
balanced man. His success, the fame so honestly won, the honors con- 
ferred, never intoxicated him. He never sang his own praises to the 
annoyance of his hearers. 

We are too near the bier of Mr., to discuss his life and 
character. I would that my honored father could be here to add a 
word. He is the only survivor of the National Anti-Slavery Society, 
but weight of years unfit him to follow the impulses of his heart. 

Mr. Douglass has left each and every one of us a valuable legacy, — 
the record of his life-work and example. The young man or woman 
who will adopt his methods, will find their efforts crowned with suc- 
cess. If we would emulate him, we nmst observe the example he has 
set and, like him, be temperate, patient, cautious, urbane and chaste. 
To-day the serious question presents itself, "Upon whom shall his man- 
tle rest? Who will stand in his place, contending for justice to all?" 
To succeed him, one must possess not only intellect and aptitude, but 
moral qualities ; he must be ripe in head and heart, and sound to the core. 


It is said tliat the spirit of Richelieu controlled France for forty 
years. May the spirit of Mr. Douglass mould and control the public 
sentiment of this country until all men and all women shall enjoy 
equal rights before the law. 

As Laniartine said of Wilberforce, "He appeared before the throne 
of God bearing in his hands the shackles of eight hundred thousand 
bondmen;" so it is with Mr. Douglass; he has gone to meet his co- 
workers, carr}'ing with him the love and esteem of millions of his 

Sleep in peace, with kindred ashes 

Ot the noble and the true; 
Hands that never failed his country, 
Heart that baseness never knew. 

Address of the Rev. Alexander Crummei.l. 

Nothing can be nobler, nothing more generous, than the tribute of 
men to departed worth and excellence. It evidences the fact that we 
can rise above ourselves ; put aside our petty cares and interests ; ignore, 
for the time, our sordid aims and desires, and rise to the contemplation 
of character, and the estimation of superior worth. 

It is just this purpose which has called together this large audience 
to-night. We have met for the manifestation of our respect, and the 
declaration of the high value of the abilities and the character of that 
eminent man who, the other day, passeil so suddenly from the ranks of 
the living, and left a vacancy in society, which it is impossible for us 
entirely to fill. 

In the brief space of time allotted me, I shall not attempt to traverse 
the lines of his long life-service and activities, nor the wide circle of 
his character and capacity. I have chosen one single peculiarity; that 
is, his genius. Not indeed, that I feel able to gauge so large a topic 
and so grand a quality ; but simply, as my tribute to his memory. 

It is now fifty-three years since I first met Mr. Douglass. It was at 
a convention of the colored citizens of New York, assembled at 
Albany, for the purpose of securing the right of equal suffrage, advanc- 
ing the cause of civil rights, and promoting the general interests of 
our race. I was struck, at once, with the strong contrast of his mental 
furniture to that of other men of the day, who, just at that time, were 
treading the platform of the Anti-Slavery Society. Among these were, 
especially, four eminent and eloquent men who, in their day, reached 
celebrity. Remond and Garnet, Pennington and Ward, were distin- 
guished advocates in the cause of freedom. It is a notable fact that 
three of these men were Marj'landers, as was Mr. Douglass himself; a 
State, by the way, which ^^ja^^roduced more eminent colored men than 
any other State in the Union. There was ability in each and all of 
them; in two of them a peculiar ability, which Mr. Douglass never 
reached. Pennington and Ward were of an eminently logical mould. 


and, with other grand qualities were distinguished bj- the prominence 
of the reasoning facult}-. 

There is, however, a characteristic higher than cold logic. The grand 
peculiarity which differenced Mr. Douglass from these others, was a 
certain unique and glowing quality which I feel justified in calling 
genius. Let me dwell upon this characteristic. 

First, you who have heard Mr. Douglass speak, must have noticed the 
fact that, as an orator, it was nature, overflowing from deep, original, 
native sources, both of heart and intellect, resident in the deepest ele- 
ments and the strongest currents of his own being. I do not mean that 
there was no forethought. There was great forethought, the forethought 
of his life-being. I do not mean that there was no study. There was 
the intensest study of a mighty brain. His soul had evidently been 
brooding, all his earthly existence, upon his grand theme. But it was 
always his over-soul, thrown out in grand speech, which made him the 
orator he was. There was no artificiality in the man. There was noth- 
ing made up; nothing that was the fruit and outcome of the schools. 
Not the yield of any formal logic. His oratory was the outpouring of 
the various original moral and mental qualities of his own strong being: 
and these qualities, while robust in texture, were, at the same time, of 
the finest nature. In his speech he was always lifted up far above lav- 
ish declamation, which is generally a sign of weakness. His style was 
somewhat severe; free from tropes and flowers; wonderfully direct; 
abounding in clear, plain, simple English. He was always thoroughly 
unaffected. He had mastered, as by intuition, the Saxon element of 
the language. The simplicity of his utterance was the spontaneous 
outcome of the simplicity of his nature. And thus it was that any 
child could understand him; weighty and ofttimes majestic as he was. 

Far more than style was the substance of his oratory. There was 
always a philosophic basis underlying all his address. He struck, 
almost invariably, the tones of grand common sense. By this I mean 
that, although deficient in logic, he always rooted himself in strong, 
self-evident, universal convictions. His ideas and sentiments were 
such as were the common property of all men. Like all great orators, 
he addressed himself to the great fundamental principles of human 
nature. These principles had a deep abidance in his own nature ; and 
hence they sprung up spontaneously, vividly, with great power and 
impress in his soul, and struggled for utterance. He seemed to me to 
leap, as it were, into great convictions, as though they had mastered 
him ; and then, that he, in return, had thoroughly assimilated and 
mastered them. Out of this tendency came the constant outcropping 
of those wonderful appeals for Justice, Truth, Freedom, Equity, which 
was the staple of his lifelong oratory; fused, all the while, with that 
— what shall I call it? — that tremendous sensibility which thrilled, 
astounded, nay, swept away his audiences; and which ofttimes over- 
came himself with breathless emotion, and, not seldom, blinded his 


own e3es with tears. Wonderful was the sensil)i!ity of this man! 
What deep enthusiasm for humanity filled his soul! How his heart, at 
times, overflowed with ardent emotions! And the glow of his senti- 
ments, while thrilling his own being, swept, like a mighty wave, over 
the hearts and sentiments of excited and sympathizing audiences. 

There were two special elements of his intellect and oratorj-, which I 
have never seen alluded to. I am not aware that he ever indulged in 
verse; but his mind was evidently imbued with delicate, beauteous, 
poetic sentiment. It came out constantly in tender touches in his 
speeches. It came out in the resort, not seldom, of his mind, in grand 
quotations from the great poets of the language, which adorned and 
dignified his speeches. He was a poet without the numbers of the 
poet. Some of you may remember the lines of Wordsworth: 

" Oh ! many are the poets that are .sown 

By nature; men endowed with highest gifts, 

The vision and the faculty divine; 

Yet wanting the accomplishment of verse, 

Which, in the docile season of their youth. 

It was denied them to acquire, through lack 

Of culture and the inspiring aid of books." 

This was the case of Mr. Douglass. In reading his biography, you 
will see this rich strata of poetic gold cropping out all along through 
his pages. 

I remember one special instance; his fine apo.strophe to the gallant 
ships floating down the Chesapeake, the emblem, in their free and 
glorious sails, of the freedom which he, then a .slave, longed for, but, 
in his state of bondage, could not command. 

"You are loosed from your moorings, and free: I am fast in my 
chains, and am a slave. You move merrily before the gentle gale, and 
I, sadly before the bloody whip! You are freedom's swift-winged 
angels, that fly around the world; I am confined in bands of iron! O 
that I were free ! O that I were on one of your gallant decks, and under 
your protecting wing!" etc. Surely, this is poetry of the finest quality. 

Second, there was .a stronger element than the poetic, which con- f 
stantly showed itself. His dramatic power, in both its phases (tragic 
and comic), was marvelous. When, under deep emotion; when carried 
away with indignation; when the chords of memory were touched; and 
the saddening scenes of his enthralmeut stood out before him; then 
was seen a histrionic quality which no mimetic display on the boards 
could possibly approach. I have seen, in my time, the younger Kean ; 
I have seen the great Kemble; I saw Macready and Forrest, in their 
prime; but I have witnessed passages in the oratory of Mr. Douglass, 
which, for simple dramatic power transcended their finest efforts; and, 
for the simple reason that they were acting; and his part was the 
majestic outburst from the well-spring of a grand, broad, deeply moved 
human nature. 


That was the dramatic feature of bis orator)-, and it sliows what an 
eminent tragedian be would have made, if that bad proven bis calling. 

In these latter days, none of you have witnessed the comic side of 
his nature. Indeed, as life flowed on its currents grew deeper, mo'e 
serious, more grave. Perils, dangers, tragedies, became a rapid experi- 
ence. So it came to pass that the humorous quality weakened. But 
when he first began his work as a speaker, nothing could be compara- 
ble to his imitation of slave-holding preachers. In his early anti-.slav- 
ery addresses he ofttimes convulsed his audiences with his imitation 
of their discourses to slaves. Now it would be a mock discourse on the 
text, that servants should be -obedient to their masters ; delivered in 
the drollest and most farcical manner. At another time he would 
repeat, in the most ludicrous style, the reminder that "white people's 
hands were made soft and delicate; but the bands of negroes were made 
black and horny, so that they might work for their masters and mis- 
tresses. " So perfect was the comic in his nature, and so keen was the 
sense of the ludicrous, that he excited the greatest fun and laughter. 

I have spoken, to-night, of Mr. Douglass as a great genius in the line 
of oratory. I feel quite sure that I have not trenched upon the borders 
of exaggeration in my attempted delineation of his powers. That 
would be injustice to him, and also a wrong to you. At the same time, 
I must not extol my own judgment of the man ; for that would be vanity. 
I think I have, at least, approached somewhat near a just estimate of his 
greatness as an orator. I may possibly have fallen short of its noblest 
heights, but I do not think that I have over-rated, or unduly m.agnified 
its quality. But let me say that it has been my privilege to hear some 
of the greatest orators of the last two generations. I have felt the 
majesty of Webster ; I have been entranced by the sweeping fire and the 
subduing pathos of Wilberforce (the Bishop); I have been charmed by 
the lofty power and beauty of Lord Beaconsfield ; I have been carried 
away by the attractions and brilliancy of Blaine; I have been made 
breathless by the fervor and power of Melville; but I have no hesita- 
tion, when speaking of eloquence, in putting Douglass, not in the way 
of comparison, but with the thought of effectiveness, beside these emi- 
nent personages. He was a great genius ! He was a magnificent orator ! 

He was more than this. He was a great man ; a man of large intellect ; 
a man of strong character. All the elements of bis nature and his 
intellect were colossal! He was a man of settled purpose. His career 
shows splendid courage, and evidences the fact that he was not easily 
turned from the path that he had chosen, or swerved from the great 
objects he had set before him. Indeed, his tenacity at times astonislied 
me! He began his career with a most definite but perilous purpose, 
and he held on to it amid terrible trials and dangers; and never gave 
it up. It is this which nuikes the man ! And a man, a true man, is a 
greater being than an orator. But Mr. Douglass was both a man and an 
orator ! 


Because he was such as I have described, I have spoken of him 
to-night. Differing from him, as I have, upon many important topics, 
it has given me gratification to-night, to set forth, in my feeble way, 
his great genius, his exalted oratory, and his true and genuine man- ; 
hood ! 

Address of Hon. J. S. Durham, kx-Mini.ster to Haiti. 

In Haiti, the men who have been Ministers Resident from the ITnited 
States are remembered chiefly because of the acts which comprise the 
records of their respective administrations. The}' are remembered as 
Americans, as foreigners. I may be mistaken of course, but my judg- 
ment is that Mr. Douglass was the single exception to this rule. In 
Haitien estimate, his personality rose above even the dignified official 
station which he occupied. To the minds of thousands who have never 
seen him, he was more than the American minister, more than the 
French plenipotentiary, more than the papal legate. He was to them 
the type-hero of the great heroic epoch in the United States. He was 
the bondsman in black, developed into all that makes the gentleman. 
He was the slave made citizen. He was the visiting ambassador of 
nine millions of negroes in this country. 

The works of the Dumas charm the culture of Haiti and the eminence of 
the two authors appeals to national and race pride ; but their work is in 
a distant field and not confined to the color agitation to which the gov- 
ernment and people of Haiti are devoted with patriotic fervor. 

L'Ouverture and Dessalines were the makers of the Haitien Republic 
and their memory is honored in tradition and history ; but theirnaraes are 
so identified with questions now active that it would probably be difficult 
to raise a monument to either of them in Port an Prince. Mr. Douglass 
had been identified with but one matter affecting Haitien policy, and 
his personality rose above the impression left by it. Indeed, I think I 
do not exaggerate when I say that the Haitien of to-day, regarding the 
Dumas with admiration and L'Ouverture and Dessalines with venera- 
tion, looks upon Frederick Douglass as a nearer, closer, a more personal 
hero and representative, the greatest negro of this generation. They 
regard his romantic history and his picturesque personality as the most 
convincing argument, not for the negro of this continent merely, but 
for the negro of the world. He was the representative, the spokesman 
of the black man everywhere — and he was that not because of any act 
of his constituency but because of his wonderful powers and his genius 
in using them. In a country where politics is a crowded profession, 
the selection of Mr. Douglass as Commissioner to the World's Fair pro- 
voked no considerable opposition; and the world accepted him as in 
his rightful place. 

If there could linger in our minds any doubt of the universal quality 
of Mr. Douglass' representative character, I think it must vanish when 
we remember his receptions in the great European capitals. He was 


the one uegro of the world who could be classed with Gladstone and 
Bismarck as a citizen of the world. I have often wished that Mr. 
Douglass had taken a residence in London and spent a part of each 
year in the British capital. The accuracy of the Haitieu estimate would 
have been tested. The universality of his representative character would 
have been demonstrated. 

In the atmosphere of London society he would have outgrown the 
things which his dearest friends regretted in him, things which were 
the natural development of his experience and which were intensified 
by the noisome Southern atmosphere which makes social standards in 
this, our national capital, breathes through legi.siation, inspires injustice 
at our White House and poisons the decisions of our Supreme Court 

This atmosphere affected the character of Frederick Douglass as 
it does the characters of all of us, white and black. The white American 
and the colored American are the victims of this barbarous Southern 
atmosphere. Because of it our nation has always fallen short of its 
ideals. American manhood falls far short of its possibilities because of 
it. It dwarfs both the oppressor and the oppressed. It is to-day the 
greatest drawback to the success of organized labor. This impalpable, 
noxious vapor which we call race prejudice is the most powerful force 
for evil in the United States. It prevents American men from devel- 
oping true manhood. It prevents American Christians from developing 

Frederick Douglass suffered from this. It was not enough that he 
should meet men like Justice Harlan and Senators Hoar and Chandler 
and Cabot Lodge. Contact with them was always solace and an 
encouragement to our leader. But he needed more. He needed 
another atmosphere, other contacts, — those to which he was entitled 
because of his means, his culture, his character and his service to 

There, he would have been the universal race representative indeed, 
looking to the solution of the universal human question. There, he 
would have .spoken for the Jew, and the Buddhist, black man and red 
man ; and he would have impressed his eloquent appeal for the rights 
of woman. He has done all that here, but there he would have had the 
civilized world as his audience. There, even he would have grown. 
There, he would have been beyond the petty annoyances incident to 
negro leadership in the United States. 

I often wished that he had had that experience in some European 
capital ; but since his death, as I have talked with those of our young 
men who were in frequent intercourse with him, I am impelled to think 
that after all, Frederick Douglass did the great work of his later 3'ears 
through the medium of his influence on young men. Even those who 
were not entirely in sympathy with him were consciously or uncon- 
sciously influenced by his personality. 

FREDERICK norGLA.%% 221 

From the beginning of his anti-slavery agitation for all time. Fred- 
erick Douglass has been and will be what the Haitiens believe him to 
be. He is the fine, artistic nature, the great genius, the magnificent, 
irresistible argument for humanity, the ambassador of the oppressed 
everywhere and every heart that can respond to the thrill of human 
fellowship, his embassy. 

Tribute of Mrs. Charlotte F. Grimke-. 

Deal- Mr. Terrell: 

I thank you for your invitation to attend the meeting in memory of 
Mr. Dougla,ss. I consider it a great honor to be thought worthy to 
•write even a word for such an occasion. And I deeply regret that I am 
physically unable to write worthily upon a subject so interesting to me. 
Most gladly would I add my voice to swell the chorus of love and praise 
which now rises from so many hearts all over this country. At some 
future time I hope to express more fully my appreciation of my grateful 
affection for our beloved leader. We must not weep for him. We must 
rather dwell upon the blessed, the con.soling thought that be still lives, 
and will live forever. 

"Alike are life and death 

When life in death survives, 
And the uninterrupteil breath 
Inspires a thousand lives. 

"Were a star quenched on high 
For ages would its light. 
Still traveling downward from the sky. 
Shine on our mortal sight. 

"So when a great man dies. 
For years beyond our ken 
The light he leaves behind him lies 
Upon the paths of men. " 

And yet, so selfish are we that we can but mourn, — for ourselves, — 
not for him. When I visited his home after he was gone,— that home 
where I had spent so many happy hours in delightful intercourse with 
him, and gazed through a mist of tears upon the many tokens of his 
recent presence, within the house, and then upon the beautiful view 
without, in which he took so much pleasure; the fine old trees, which 
he loved like friends, the river, and the hills, and the city, all bathed 
in a flood of golden sunlight ; and felt that indescribable thrill in the 
air which betokens the glad awakening of spring — but saw him not, — 
an overwhelming sense of loss took possession of me! And a few lines, 


written Ioiik ago on visiting the home of another noble friend of human- 
ity, who had left us, came back to me as befitting that hour. 

"Only the casket left! The jewel gone 
Whose noble presence filled these stately halls, 
And made this spot a shrine, where pilgrims came, — 
Stranger and friend, to bend in reverence 
Before the great, pure soul, that knew no guile : 
To listen to the wise and gracious words 
That fell from lips whose rare, exquisite smile 
Gave tender beauty to the grand, grave face. 

"O friend beloved, with longing, tear-filled eyes 
We look up, up, to the unclouded blue. 
And seek in vain some answering sign from thee! 
Look down upon us, guide and cheer us still 
From the serene height where thou dwellest now : 
Dark is the way without the beacon light 
Which long and steadfastly thy hand upheld ; 
O nerve with courage new the stricken hearts 
Whose dearest hopes seem lost in losing thee!" 

Sincerely yours, 

Charlotte F. Grimkb. 

Address of Hon. John R. Lynch. 

Ladies and Gentlemen : 

Although we know it to be a fact, yet it is difficult for me to realize 
that Frederick Douglass is dead! That his eloquent voice will be heard, 
his strong and influential pen in defence of liberty and justice will be 
used, and his familiar figure will be seen on our public street.s, no more 
forever! It is a sad and serious fact! Frederick was not only 
a great colored man, he was a great American citizen. He was not only 
a leader of his race, he was one of the leading men of his country. He 
always took an active and leading part in the consideration and dis- 
cussion of public questions. It was not his privilege to occupy a seat 
in either House of Congress, or within the Council Chamber of the 
Chief Magistrate of the nation, the duties of any and all of which 
positions he could and would have filled with credit to himself, honor 
to his race, and profit to his country ; but he occupied a position in 
public estimation, that was more influential and potential than any one 
of those to which I have referred. He was potential in making and 
unmaking Senators and Representatives in Congress, and in making and 
unmaking Administrations. His opinions were sought, his advice was 
solicited, and his admonitions were frequently heeded by all Adminis- 
trations during the active period of his useful public life. He enjoyed 
the confidence of every Republican President we have ever had, and the 
admiration and respect of the only Democratic President we have had 
since the liberation of the colored race. It was my privilege to sit under 


the soiuul of his eloqueiil voice wlieu he tlelivered his masterly eulogy 
upon the life and character of General U. S. Grant. I shall never forget 
the declaration made by him on that occasion, when he declared that 
while Lincoln gave the colored man his freedom, Grant gave him a 
country ; that while Lincoln saved the Union, it was Grant who, more 
than any other one man, was instrumental in giving the colored man 
the ballot. While Mr. Douglass admired Lincoln, loved Grant, adored 
Conkling and idolized Sumner, yet, in my opinion, he was, in one 
respect at least, greater than any one of these. When they spoke, they 
represented the American people ; when Douglass spoke, he represented 
a whole race, not of America only, but of the whole civilized world. 
When they spoke and wrote, their words were read by the people of the 
United States; when Douglass spoke and wrote, his words were read by 
the people of the civilized globe. 

The only thing ever said against Frederick Douglass by the few who 
were disposed to criticise him and to iind fault with him, was that, in 
his zealous defence of his race, he was sometimes disposed to excuse 
and justify in a colored man what he would denounce and condemn in 
a white man; but those who knew him intimately, as it was my privi- 
lege to know him, would never thus accuse him. I shall never forget 
a conversation I had with him upon a recent occasion, when he defended 
himself this unjust accusation. He said that he had come up 
through great trials, tribulations, crosses and ups and downs; that no 
man had felt the fangs of American prejudice and injustice, more 
keenly than himself, and that, in speaking of his race, he therefore felt 
it to be his duty to extol their virtues and leave to the enemies of the 
race, the detection and publication of their vices. It was this that some- 
times caused his position to be misunderstood, and his words to be 
misconstrued. From my knowledge of him and intimate acquaintance 
with him, I think that I can inform my eloquent young friend from 
Philadelphia, Mr. Durham, why Mr. Douglass did not make his home 
in a foreign couutr\'. No one knew and appreciated, more keenly than 
Mr. Douglass, the superior advantages he would have enjoyed in London, 
Paris or Berlin, or even in certain sections of our own country. I shall 
never forget a conversation I had with him, several years ago, when 
this subject was one of the topics about which we conversed. He stated 
that lie could have remained at his New York home, where he was 
respected, honored and loved, without being subjected to the personal 
annoyances and inconveniences to which he found himself subjected in 
Washington. But he was so entirely and loyally devoted to his race, 
that he fell it to be his duty, after slavery had been abolished, not only 
to continue the fight for the recognition of the equality of rights for 
his race, but also to go where the battle raged thickest, — where he 
would be likely to receive blows, as well as to give them. In other words, 
he felt that it was his duty to remain with his people, to be with them 
in the day of their adversity as well as in the hour of their prosperity. 

224 /A^ ME3I0BIAM. 

It has beeu my gooil fortune to hear mauy of the able addresses of 
Mr. Douglass, and to read nearly all of his published works, and I must 
say that, unlike my venerable friend, Dr. Crummell, I have never read a 
line in any of his works nor have I heard a word from his eloquent lips, 
touching public questions, from which I ever felt called upon to dissent. 
His judgment was sound, his reasons were logical, his arguments were 
convincing, his mind was clear, his thoughts were pure and his language 
was beautiful, charming and refined. 

In politics Mr. Douglass was always a consistent Republican, but he 
was not actuated by selfish motives or by personal considerations. With 
him, the controlling motive in any Presidential campaign, was its effect 
upon the race with which he was identified and of which he was the 
recognized leader, champion and defender. Having satisfied himself 
upon that point, his duty was clear to him and he never hesitated to 
discharge it, regardless of consequences personal to himself. He recog- 
nized the fact, as he had expressed to me on several occasions, that while 
the Republican party had not done for the colored race all that it could 
have done, should have done, and might have done, j'et it was through 
the instrumentality of that organization that the race was in possession 
of whatever rights and privileges it enjoys to-day. Inasmuch as that 
party had been utilized for good, in the past, in spite of strong and 
stubborn opposition, it was his belief that the same organization was 
the sheet-anchor of the colored man's hopes, ambitions and aspirations. 

The life-work of this great and good man is now at an end and it is 
my firm conviction that he has gone to his reward. The golden rule 
"As ye would that others should do unto you, do ye even so unto 
them, " was the rule of his conduct and the standard of his life. Per- 
sonally he was good, morally he was pure, intellectuall}' he was strong, 
and racially he was modest, cultured and refined. Such a man must, in 
my opinion, occupy a seat upon the right hand of the Majesty on High ! 

Wife! children and grandchildren ! Weep not for the loss of husband, 
father and grandfather! My advice to you is, to emulate, as far as you 
can, his example, and endeavor to meet him in that land where sickness 
and sorrow, pain and death, will be felt and feared no more. 

Address of Hon. P. B. S. Pinchbeck. 
Ladies and Gentlfmen : 

Mr. Douglass was a self-made man; a manly man; a pre-eminent 
apostle of liberty. 

Since his death the public prints of all descriptions and every shade 
of opinion have told the story of his remarkable life, and it would be 
superfluous for me to attempt to repeat it in the short time allotted to 
me on this occasion. 

I am simply here to add my mite to the world-wide tribute which has 
been paid to his character and worth as a distinguished colored man and 
an eminent American citizen. 


In all ages, great crises have produced great men who have com- 
manded the respect and admiration of the people of their day and 
generation; but in their origin, environments and achievements, none 
of them are to be compared with him, — except the great Toussaint 
L'Ouverture, and even he had advantages which our champion and 
defender did not possess. Toussaint was a revolutionist, and he had 
meu and munitions of war to enable him to obtain a place in history. 

Most all of the other men whose records adorn the pages of history, 
had not only the care of devoted parents, but the most thorough educa- 
tion and training to fit them for the special fields of endeavor in which 
they were to labor and obtain success and renown. It is true that some 
of these men were of humble origin, but none of them were so poor in 
this respect, as he was. Parentless to all intents and purposes,— and 
worse still — a slave; denied by law the right to even learn the alphabet; 
that he should reach the heights he did, stamps him at once the most 
remarkable man the world has ever seen. 

There can be but one explanation of this; he was born great. The 
elements of greatness were inherent in him and he could no more be 
confined to a life of slavery, than the ebb and flow of the mighty waters 
of the ocean could be controlled by human agencies. His love of 
liberty and flight to obtain it, and his thirst for knowledge, which he 
acquired to such a remarkable degree, demonstrate that he was no 
ordinary man. He would not only be free himself, but he must do 
something to shatter the fetters which bound in hopeless bondage, 
millions of other human beings. 

Self-emancipated and self-taught, what a wonderful and .striking 
object-lesson, to young and aspiring mankind everywhere, his life pre- 
.sents in its march from the poor and unlettered slave boy, to the orator, 
editor, statesman and one of the foremost men of his time! It forcibly 
illustrates the marvelous possibilities of the human intellect when 
afforded opportunities for development and the stimulus of a field for 

It is a very common thing for writers and public speakers to declare 
that opportunity is nothing ; that great men make their own opportunity. 
The history of the world's great men does not, in my opinion, sustain 
this assertion. Rare gifts, and even genius itself, remain dormant and 
undiscovered, when subjected to the rust of inactivity. The human 
mind and intellect must have constant employment to obtain their 
highest perfection, — and there never was in the history of the world 
a more inspiring cause than the abolition of American slavery, — the 
cause in which Mr. Douglass labored and which wrought in him such 
a marvelous development. 

With the fall of slavery his occupation was not like Othello's, .gone, 

its attendant evils, prejudice and hatred, wrong and injustice continued 

to follow the race, and this kept him like a sentinel on the watch-tower 

of public opinion, ever ready and willing to enter in dignified and 



manly terms, his protest against their encroachment upon his people. 
It was this ceaseless demand upon his time and talents, which accounts 
for his continuous growth and the colossal form he reached in the pub- 
lic eye. 

His life is picturesque and interesting from every point of view; 
but in no way more remarkable than in its wouderful perseverance 
and endurance. 

It has often been said of Mr. Douglass, that he was not a leader ; and 
in the common acceptation of the term, this is true. It was not his 
province to lead men ; he soared away above such a leadership into the 
realms of thought and reason. But in the broader, deeper and higher 
sense, — the maker and moulder of public sentiment — he was a leader of 
leaders, "The noblest Roman of them all." 

The great men who preceded him, were all, without an exception, 
the outgrowth of fortuitous circumstances or the descendants of illus- 
trious ancestors. In their several fields of action they not only had 
precedents to guide and assist them in their labors, but abundant 
resources and an army of followers. Not so with Mr. Douglass. He 
had nothing but his tongue and pen to advance the great cause in 
which he was enlisted. The human brain and heart were the citadels 
he had to siege, storm and capture. His own people were, in the 
main, in the most abject slavery and utterly unable to render him any 
assistance, and a large majority of the dominant class, — the people 
before whom he must plead his cause — were strongly fortified against 
him by race prejudice and hatred. On all sides trials and perils, with- 
out a parallel in the world's history, confronted him ; but he never 
faltered, and for over half a century, with more than Spartan courage, 
he performed with his eloquent tongue and matchless pen, inestimable 
service for his downtrodden and helpless people. 

A born orator and possessed of rare eloquence, he also had an abun- 
dance of that still rarer gift — common sense. It was this quality which 
enabled him to avoid extremes and exaggeration in his public utter- 
ances. Incessant and aggressive in his war on slavery, he made his 
argument against it with such consummate judgment, that he com- 
manded the attention of friend and foe alike, and acquired the fame 
which has placed his name high up on the scroll of the famous men of 
the world. Without a precedent or predecessor, he leaves no suc- 
cessor. Both he and the occasion which developed him are gone 

Measured by his humble origin, his limited opportunities, his pov- 
erty of resources and the uncongenial field in which he had to labor, 
he leaves an impress upon the civilized portion of mankind, unex- 
celled by any other man in either ancient or modern times, except the 
lowly Nazarene. 

What a splendid panorama his life presents ! And how singularly 
fortunate he was in living to see the fruition of his labor and the 


realization of his dearest hopes, — the emancipation and enfranchise- 
ment of the race for whom he had labored so long and earnestly. It 
was a consolation and a joy vouchsafed to very few men. He was con- 
scious of the fact and it mellowed and sweetened his disposition, 
softened his heart toward all mankind and rendered him forgiving 
and indulgent even to his bitterest opponents. 

On his last day on earth, I had the pleasure of listening to one of 
his charming conversations, in which he was always instructive and 
entertaining. He was apparently hale and hearty, and deeply con- 
cerned about the shadows which still lower over the future of the race 
in this country. A tinge of sadness pervaded his conversation, but 
it was relieved by the almost boyish glee and satisfaction with which 
he spoke of the compliment he had just received from the Ladies' Con- 
vention. It was a splendid compliment to a splendid man, and was 
highly appreciated by him. 

On that day, as ever before, the uppermost thought with him was the 
betterment of the condition of his people; and it was while in the act 
of going forth to speak words of encouragement to them, that the grim 
monster seized him. The end was sudden, but Providential. It was 
meet that his majestic form should be spared the ravages of disease and 
decrepitude. It was with intellect undimmed, mind unimpaired, 
strength vigorous, and armor still on, that he fell. Peculiar and extra- 
ordinary in life, exceptional in death ! His absence from the affairs 
of life leaves a void which I fear generation after generation will not 
see filled. 

It will require no statue of marble or bronze, or granite monument, to 
perpetuate his uame and fame. His great services to humanity are a 
living monument, and it will last so long as memory holds a place in 
the brain of man. 

Ricv. Dr. vShippen's Address. 
Rev. Rush R. Shippen, of the First Unitarian Church of Washing- 
ton, D. C, then followed in a short address in which he dwelt upon 
the high character and personal qualities of Mr. Douglass, and illus- 
trated these by several interesting reminiscent anecdotes. He related an 
incident which took place years before in Chicago, on which occasion 
Mr. Douglass provoked the anger of a large audience by his 
of Daniel Webster for his famous "Seventh of March" speech, when, 
as Dr. Shippen said, Webster buckled and cringed to the slave owners. 
It looked as if Douglass could not go on with his remarks, he had so 
enraged the audience. But he waited till the din had ceased, then 
recited a passage which he had committed to memorj' from one of 
Webster's earlier speeches in which he pleaded so grandly for freedom 
of speech. The effect was electric, and the audience cheered Douglass 
as enthusiastically as it had before hissed and hooted him. Another 
time, at a convention of abolitionists of the State of Illinois, a white 


mail made a speech saying that the negro was so thieving, so immoral, 
so intemperate and untruthful, that it was impossible to redeem him, 
even if he were made free. Douglass was called next, and he saw his 
opportunit}'. "Our race," he said, "is simple; it is imitative — very 
imitative. We do as we see our masters do. When the white man 
ceases to steal, to drink, to lie and to be immoral, then we will have 
hope for ourselves. ' ' The fine sarcasm of the retort aroused the great 
audience to the wildest applause. 

Another interesting incident related by the speaker was one which 
transpired but a short time previous to the death of Mr. Douglass, when 
Profe.ssor Carpenter, of Oxford, England, was passing through Wash- 
ington, on his way to Cambridge, Mass., to deliver a course of lectures 
before Harvard University. The occasion was a social one and its im- 
portance lay in the eager desire of the English scholar to obtain from 
Mr. Douglass his opinion concerning the real and prospective condition 
of the colored people of the South and of the terrible lynchings so 
generally practiced there, and the calm, dispassionate and philosophical 
account which Mr. Douglass gave of that condition and of the causes, 
history and unavoidable influence upon the country, of the Southern 
lynching mania. 

Dr. Shippen referred to the lecture by Matthew Arnold at the First 
Congregational Church, Washington, twelve years before, when, after 
the distinguished Englishman had concluded. Secretary Chandler, who 
presided, called for remarks from the distinguished men in the audi- 
ence. Seeing Mr. Douglass, he said : " I see before me the greatest 
orator in America, and I call upon Frederick Douglass to speak. ' ' Mr. 
Douglass arose and, in a fine manner, refraining from a speech, moved 
the thanks of the audience to Professor Arnold for the pleasure his 
lecture had given them. 

Dr. Shippen was succeeded by Rev. William Creditt. 

Address of Rev. William A. Creditt. 
Frederick Douglass in History. 

Carlyle, in his Essay on History, says, "History is the essence of 
innumerable biographies." 

Men who render great services to their race and country, will always 
be remembered and honored by posterity. Nearly every- age has pro- 
duced such men. They are, in a certain sense, the elect of God's prov- 
idence on earth, whom, from time to time. He calls forth to open new 
resources for mankind, and to point out new roads of activity for the 
human mind. Every generation, as if by one common impulse, has 
expressed its gratitude to them, either by written eulogies and orations, 
or by monuments, in order to transfer to future ages, not only a record 
of the exalted deeds of their great men, but also to show in what 


manner they themselves acknowledge and appreciate the merits of those 
whom Providence was pleased to place in their midst. 

Every nation jealously guards the history of her great men. France 
finds no language too rich to tell the history of her greatest general, 
Germany finds no oration too grand to celebrate the great ex-chancel- 
lor's natal day. America finds no marble too white for a monument to 
the memory of Washington. But if it reflects great credit upon these 
nations to have thus honored the men who distinguished themselves 
in the service of their respective race and country, how much more 
honor is due to that man whose life was a benefaction, not only to his 
own race and country, but to the world of mankind? The man who 
has, of all men, thus distinguished himself, is the one in whose mem- 
ory we have assembled, — one of the world's greatest; one of America's 
greatest; our greatest; Frederick Douglass! His life has been, and 
shall ever be, an inspiration to suffering races; to men struggling 
under national prejudices; and to aspiring manhood, wherever found. 
His unfavorable, and yet favorable, birth; his intellectual capacities; 
his great qualities of heart; his force of will; his nobility of character; 
his untiring perseverance in the pursuit of his designs, a per.severance 
which could be checked by no obstacle; his magnanimity and whole- 
heartedness; his firmness in adversity; his goodness in prosperity; his 
cheerfulness and amiabilit}- under all circumstances; the stirring events 
of the period in which he lived; the need of an advocate for freedom, 
who could, in his own personality, show forth the suffering of the 
slave and the greatness of a noble soul; all alike declare that history- 
shall record Frederick Douglass as a fit illustration of the possibilities 
of our American institutions, when a truly great soul is upon the stage 
of action. 

John Lord says, in the preface to his work, "The Beacon Lights of 
History, " "Inasmuch as the interest in the development of those great 
ideas and movements which we call civilization, centre, in no slight 
degree, in the men who were identified with them, I have endeavored 
to give a faithful picture of their lives in connection with the eras and 
institutions which they represent, whether they were philosophers, 
ecclesiastics, or men of action. ' ' 

He then undertakes his task, upon this plan, selecting a great central 
character, — a Beacon Light, — and around this life he tells the history 
of events and institutions that were, more or less, affected by this great 
central character. America has her "Beacon Lights of Historj-. " 
Washington might well be selected as a Beacon Light of our early 
civilization. Grant, Sherman and Sheridan could easily gather about 
themselves our struggles and victories upon the field of battle. Webster, 
Calhoun and Clay may show forth the principles of oratory. Lincoln 
would be the central figure of a great contest. Garri.son and Phillips 
would tell of the abolitionists' movement. But no one of these Beacon 
Lights, with the exception of Washington, can gather unto himself so 

230 7iS' MEMOKIAM. 

luucb of America's historj-, as can Frederick Douglass! The many 
years of American slavery, from its introduction, centre in his birth. 
The longing hopes and struggles of the enslaved find their most illus- 
trious example of escape, in his flight from Maryland. The abolitionist 
movement gathers around him, as its illustration, as its soul, and its 
most eloquent advocate, either in America or in foreign lands. The 
agitation at the North ; the secession of the South, and the war of the 
rebellion, were all more or less caused by the existence of the institu- 
tion which Douglass represented. The great turning point in the 
struggle was due to his advice to President Lincoln to ' ' arm the slaves. ' ' 
Therefore the great victory thus achieved by the Union army, cannot be 
written without the Douglass life, or can be best written with the 
Douglass life as its Beacon Light. And should the Colored American 
ever wish to transmit to generations yet unborn, their own struggles and 
achievements, Frederick Douglass would be the great central character 
around whch our greatest accomplishments, thus far, would centre, and 
from which our greatest achievements in the, shall borrow their 

The public schools of our city have already begun work for histon,'. 
Last Friday young Colored America under the direction of its teachers, 
told of the birth, early struggles, achievements and death of our hero. 
This tells us that Frederick Douglass shall ever hold a place in the 
heart of Colored America, and that Douglass Day is a certainty. But, 
friends, should we assign to the Colored Americans alone, the place that 
Frederick Douglass shall occupj' in history, we should do ourselves an 
injustice ; we .should do Douglass an injustice ; we should do America an 
injustice. True, he was one of us. We love to think of him as a 
Colored American. He was ours and remained ours, but he became also 
the honored representative of our common countrj-. He was proud of 
being a colored man, but he gloried in being an American citizen. 
America honored Douglass, Douglass honored America. He belonged 
to the nation as well as to the race. Orators, essayists and historians of 
the present generation may speak and write of him merely as a Colored 
American. This will not, however, do him proper honor. Unborn orators, 
essayists and historians will take him from this narrow confine and place 
him as one of .America's greatest characters. The age in which Columbus 
lived could not do him justice. The age in which Attucks lived could 
not do him justice. The present age has placed them where the}- belong. 
The Columbian Exposition gave full recognition to him whose name it 
bore. The Attucks monument on Boston Common tells the world that 
it was a sable hand which struck the first blow for American inde- 

The time will come when there shall be no distinction in America on 
account of race or color. The time will come in America when history 
shall be both written and read without prejudice. Then shall some 
John Lord, writing upon the Beacon Lights of American History, place 


Washington as the one who best represents the early years and stirring 
events of our young country ; Grant, Sherman and Sheridan as the most 
illustrious examples of military glory ; Webster, Calhoun and Clay as 
models of American oratory; Garrison and Phillips as the leading spirits 
of the abolitionist movement; and Lincoln as the emancipator of four 
millions of slaves; then, reaching higher and still higher, for a beacon 
whose light shall illumine the histoi-j- of the slave, from Jamestown to 
the emancipation; one whose existence was coincident with, and a part 
of, the most stirring events that have ever transpired in America ; whose 
life-work was to advocate the noblest ideas and thoughts to men, and 
whose life shall serve as an inspiration to millions yet unborn, he will 
place, far above them all, the name of the slave, editor, advocate, 
diplomat, hero and chieftain, Frederick Douglass. 

Rev. Francis J. Giiuike, D. D. , then pronouncei'. the benediction, and 
the meeting adjourned. 

ING Held ix Honor of Frederick Douglass, at 
THE Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pa., 
April 15, 1895. 

FelloK' Cilizois : It is fitting, indeed I think manifestly appropriate 
to the memory of one of the greatest of the apostles of human freedom 
of our times, that the citizens of Philadelphia and its vicinity should 
make some special public expression and acknowledgment of their 
estimation of the character and value of the public labors of the late 
Frederick Douglass. 

It is fitting, first, because Pennsylvania, and especially Philadelphia, 
was, for more than half a centur}', the breakwater against which the 
surging billows of Southern slavery dashed with ever-increasing fury. 
It was in this city that most of the legal, as well as the physical, battles 
were fought for the uiaintenance of the personal freedom of its own 

It was in this city that pro-slavery arrogance and brutality mobbed 
our citizens, both white and colored, burned to the ground our private 
dwellings, our anti-slavery halls, our churches and even our orphan 
asylums. It was in this city that the quiet and unoffending Quaker 
citizen of Lancaster County, of this State, ' ' Castner Hanw.ny, ' ' was tried 
for treason, because he declined to aid Gorsuch, a slaveholder, in the 
recovery of what he was pleased to call his slave property. The several 
weeks which have transpired since the demise of Frederick Douglass 
will not only protect this memorial meeting from the insinuation of 
being the outburst of mere emotions of sudden sorrow but will justify 


the loftiest interpretation of a purpose to make honorable mention of 
his name and transmit to posterity bis wondrous example of human 

I must leave to those appointed to follow me the more attractive work 
of weaving for this audience wreaths of eloquence, or the casting into 
it bouquets of rhetoric. 

My simple task will be confined to a concise statement of the prin- 
ciples involved, as well as a brief recital of the events of history occur- 
ring in this country, in the period of the manhood existence of the 
great character whose matchless career we have to-night assembled to 
honor and to endorse. 

It is not among the possibilities of human effort that we may do any 
kind of reasonable justice to either the character or labors of Frederick 
Douglass, except by first presenting to our audience, as far as may be, 
the field in which he labored and to some extent the beggarly facilities 
which were at his command. 

Those living in the present generation, whose life period measures 
less than forty-five years (however intelligent they may be), have no 
definite conception, no adequate means of realizing the dark and bewil- 
dering reign of terror which preceded the years of iS6o and 1861. And 
even a deliberate effort by one who lived in the midst of its agonizing 
and soul-crushing potencies, may fail to present a faithful picture of 
those perilous times. 

Considerate politeness to others who are to address you, will prevent 
my enlarging upon any topic I may present, or an attempt at extreme 
exemplification of the ideas which legitimately appear within the 
domain of my subject. 

In painting the picture of the field in which this great man volun- 
teered to labor, let me ask you to imagine, if 30U can, at this great 
distance from the scene, four millions of human beings, in a country 
under Christian government, doomed to incessant and unrequited toil ; 
shut out from the protection of either sacred or of human law ; impris- 
oned in a hopeless ignorance, and driven by the lash, the auction-block 
and branding iron, beyond range of every civilizing opportunity 
extended to others. Contemplate with me the disgusting spectacle, 
that of the twelve hundred thousand women of this same class, not one 
of them either was, or could be, a wife. By the very necessities of the 
horrid system and its laws (and I quote the law), they were each of 
them "held and reputed to be a chattel thing — personal to all intents 
and purposes whatsoever, having neither the right to buy, bargain, sell 
or exchange, but shall be held as any other property. ' ' They were, 
therefore, all living in enforced concubinage. 

Keep before your offended vision the penal edict, nowhere else under 
civilization imposed, that from the cradle to the grave no one of these 
millions should, under any circumstances, be taught to spell even the 
name of the Judge of all the earth. 


And now to extend the field of your retrospection to a wider range of 
observation, both as to territory aad to population, to the forty millions 
of the so-called white freemen, and here you have a picture of that 
other great class of bondmen, politically, civilly and religiously sub- 
jected to the yoke of the Southern master. That they were slaves, the 
facts of history indisputably exhibit. First, they submitted to the 
humiliating demand that the master (in the ratio of Congressional rep- 
resentation ) might count five of his chattel slaves as equal to three 
Northern white men. 

The Congress of the United States was at that period a fair miniature 
representation of the whole national situation. Our Representatives 
in Congress assembled in those days would, in the interests of the whole 
country, present river and harbor bills, internal improvements, pro- 
tective tariff measures, and instantly the representative of the slave 
master would step forward and blot out the entire list by writing in 
large letters the shibboleth "Slavery" over them. 

These Southern masters, filled with wrath and mortification at the 
succe.ssful escape of numbers of their chattel slaves, at once determined 
to utilize the services of their white Northern slaves in order to recover 
what they claimed as their property. Being themselves owners of blood- 
hounds, they could and did use them in the South in pursuit of the flee- 
ing bondsman, but north of Mason and Di.KOu's line another and 
different kind of a hound must be used. Hence, in 1S50 they en.icted 
the infamous "Fugitive Slave Bill, " which made every Northern white 
man a slave hound in the unpaid service of their Southern masters. 

It is important at this juncture that we recognize the fact that for 
thirty years preceding the war there were in this country two distinct 
anti-slavery or abolition parties. One was the Moral Suasionists, the 
other was the Political Actionists. 

The creed of the Moral Suasionists was, that the Constitution of the 
I'nited States was pro-slavery — that it was "a covenant with death and 
an agreement with hell, " and further, that to vote for any man who in 
assuming the duties of office should have to swear to support said Con- 
stitution, was an endorsement of said covenant, and hence they never 
voted. The creed of the Political Actionists was, that the Constitution 
of the United States was an anti-slavery document, a charter of human 
liberty, and, if properly interpreted and faithfully executed, slaverj' 
would cease to exist in this country by virtue of the organic law of the 

The Moral Suasionists were headed by William Lloyd Garrison, 
Wendell Phillips, Parker Pillsbury, Lucretia Mott and others. The 
Political Actionists were headed by Garrett Smith, William Goodell, 
Sanniel R. Ward, Joshua R. Giddings and others. 

Frederick Douglass in his first public labors acted for years with the 
former, but, convinced that political action was quite as important as 
argument, he linked his energetic activities with the latter. He had 

234 7.V MEMORIAM. 

witnessed the growing tendency of the Liberty party from 7000, in 
1S40, to 60,000 for J. K. Bimey, in 1844. Being a voter at that period 
in the State of New York, he readilj' joined with the above-named 
abolitionists in forming the Free-Soil party, which in 1S4S polled 
120,000 votes in the State of New York, thereby knocking that State out 
of the Democratic list, and consequently defeating General Lewis Cass, 
the Democratic candidate. Encouraged by the potenc}', which their 
ever- increasing numbers gave promise of, their next work was to form 
a party, including the championship of the national exclusion of slavery 
from the territories. This was the origin and purpose of the great 
Republican party. And we maintain that the history of the broad and 
beneficent resolution which legitimately followed and has maintained 
itself up to the present hour, victoriously vindicates the wisdom both 
of the political philosophy and action which guided his footsteps and 
secured his masterly services. 

The truth of historj' justifies, aye, demands, the reminder that in the 
midst of the hottest of this contest the brutal slaveholder was reinforced 
and defended by the public efforts and arguments of a very numerous 
and influential portion of the so-called Christian ministry both in the 
Northern and Southern States. They ransacked and perverted Holy 
Writ, from Genesis to Revelations, to produce incidents and precedents 
to vindicate and justify the foul and cruel system of American slavery. 

This action on the part of these prominent religious teachers, aroused 
the antagonism of all real abolitionists against those bj' whom they were 
assailed, and in the heat of the contest between the assailed and the 
assailant, religion was made to suffer for the misdoings of those who 
claimed to be its public promoters and defenders. 

Frederick Douglass, one of the greatest advocates of human freedom, 
marched into this fight and plied the scorpion lash of his caustic criti- 
cism to the backs of the pro-slavery clergymen. He was charged by 
them with being religiously sceptical. 

Let me here say that for more than forty-five years it has been my 
custom and my pleasure to both publicly and privately review, criticise 
and antagonize in debate the doctrines of the religious sceptic, during 
which period I have enjoyed familiar personal contact with Frederick 
Douglass, and, although we have sometimes differed in some of the 
metaphysical abstractions of theology, I do not hesitate to say that I 
always regarded him as a great, good and religious man, whose Chris- 
tian toilet had been somewhat soiled and disarranged by contact with 
the chimney-sweeps and pro-slavery scavengers, who were at that time 
passing themselves off as ministers of the Christian religion. 

Allow me for a moment to repeat that, in the dark days of 1850 and 
thereabouts, when, at the commanding behests of the slave power, the 
Congress of the United States enacted the infamous "Fugitive Slave 
Bill" which brought terror and trepidation into every society organiza- 
tion, composed of colored people, secular and religious, in the Northern 


States ; when the bold, brazen slaveholder, flushed with his recent leg- 
islative victory, made the entire Northern States his hunting ground, 
compelling even white Northern citizens to aid in the capture of the 
fleeing bondsman; when Henry Clay rose in the Senate-chamber and 
proclaimed that "seventy years had sanctified the institution of slavery 
to the American people, and that the question of its continued existence 
was settled, and, thank God, settled forever, "—it was then, in response 
to that devilish announcement, in the Cimerian gloom which had 
settled upon our country, that the prophetic soul of the great Douglass, 
grasping a wider range of observation, and lifting his voice to inspire 
with renewed courage the beleaguered armies of freedom, with trumpet- 
tongued eloquence cried out: "I see an arm reaching down from God 
out of the heavens stronger than any human arm, an arm stronger than 
all human arms; I see an intelligence, higher and holier than all human 
intelligences, they are guarding and guiding our cause and are making 
auxiliaries of its enemies. I am willing to trust that arm. I am willing 
to confide in that intelligence, that it will ere long bring our .storm- 
tossed vessel to the desired port. ' ' 

And I may here add that at that dismal period of the struggle there 
was no such faith in God found among all that sanctimonious class who 
boisterously stigmatized him as an infidel. 

It was not the love they had for the Christian religion that prompted 
these minions of caste and despotism to arraign this great and good man 
as an infidel. It was rather their superserviceable readiness to ser\-e the 
slave-holding power, which at that period ruled in Church and State. 

"They die unlamented by people and laws. 
Whose lives were but shadows on Liberty's cause; 
They slumber unblest by futurity's star, 
Who have blocked the track of humanity's car. 

"Regarded when dead by the wise and the good, 
As the shepherd regards the dead wolf in the wood. 
They are only unhated when heaven shall efface 
The memory of such from the souls of the race. " 

The people of the Northern and Western States, availing 
themselves of the opportunities which the territorial question gave them, 
made through the ballot box, by the election of Abraham Lincoln, an 
official and popular declaration of independence, thus saying to the 
tyrant, "Thus far shalt thou go, and no further!" . . . Smarting 
under the humiliating threat of Robert Toombs, of Georgia, that he 
would "yet call the roll of his slaves under the shadow of Bunker Hill," 
the whole North rose in rebellion and threw from their necks the galling 
yoke of the slave oligarchy by placing on guard the immortal Lincoln. 
This political revolution struck ten-or into the ranks of the Southern 
tyrant. They saw in that result that the abolitionists by their agitation 
and by their educational agencies had set the entire North ablaze with 

236 /A" ME3WRIAM. 

the sentiments and principles of political and personal freedom. They 
the people of the South saw as we then saw the "anu," to which 
p'rederick Douglass had pointed us just ten years before that period, as 
"stronger than all human arms." 

When the history of that period is read with care, it will be clearly 
seen that theirs is an attempt to get away from a moral and political 
conflagration, which they had no means of extinguishing and no other 
means of avoiding. 

We contend, therefore, the labors, the ostracisms and the sufferings 
of the abolitionists, and the unprecedented revolution, which has freed 
every man, white and black, North and South, and has buried the 
auction-block, the branding- iron and enforced concubinage, stand in 
the intimate relation of cause and effect. 

This rebellion of iS6o, through the agency of the ballot box was the 
first great national step for freedom in seventy-five years. 

More than fifty years acquaintance with Frederick Douglass demands 
of me on this occasion a brief mention also of some of his personal 

First, then, let me say that during that extended period he was Ora- 
tor Douglass, Editor Douglass, United States Minister Douglass and 
Mr. Douglass. He not only fully and faithfully performed the duties 
of each of these several departments while he honored them with his 
intelligent services, but he was more permanently and delightfully 
charming as Mr. Douglass, in his broad, brave, buoyant and beautiful 
manliness, as seen and enjoyed by those who had the good fortune to 
meet him, either in social or in civil life. 

In blandness and urbanity, in unostentatious kindness and instinctive 
generosity he seemed without a peer. He was easily approached by all 
who had any legitimate claim on his time, his attention, or his services. 

He had a supreme contempt for that haughtiness which distinguishes 
small-minded men, when they find themselves in authority or in popu- 
lar favor. 

He entertained a supreme contempt for the pitiable race distinctions 
tolerated by small-minded people in this country. 

And we are proud to be able to say of him that neither his broad cul- 
ture nor his ample material competence could lure him from the old 
intimate and companionable relationship with that portion of the peo- 
ple with whom he was identified by complexional classification. 

However the public and of his friends and acquaintances may 
have been startled by his sudden demise, some of those who knew 
him more intimatelj' can affirm that for years he had made himself 
familiar with his proximate and probable contingencies of sudden 
departure from the scenes of his earthly labor. 

Unlike many other great men, Frederick Douglass does not at this 
time, nor in the near future, require the erection of expensive monu- 
ments to remind us or our immediate posterity of the majestic grandeur 


of his incomparable life-work. Monuments in the shape of school- 
houses in every considerable town and city south of Mason and Dixon's 
line, the numerous colleges and other institutions of learning, the 
practical personal liberties of the millions, who have reaped and are 
in enjoyment of blessings so largely the results of his labors dwarf into 
comparative and utter insignificance any mere structure of either brass 
or of stone. 

No man living, I .care not what may be the measure or character of 
his intellect, is capable of making a just estimate of the character and 
the work of Frederick Douglass in this country in the fifty years, 
who leaves out of sight the fact that he labored for the white man's- 
liberty, as well as for the black, — for woman's freedom and enfauchise- 
ment, as well as for man's. In this respect he has left his footprints 
on every square mile of territor}- within the jurisdiction of this great 

Address of Rev. Dr. H. L. W.vyland, Delivered at 

THE Memorial Meeting, Held at the Academy 

OF Music, Philadelphia, Pa., on the 

Evening of April 15, 1895. 

A/r. President, Ladies and Gentlemen : 

1 cannot look upon the eminent citizen whose name is in every heart 
this evening, simply as a public man. To me, he was a valuable per- 
sonal friend. Forty-two years ago, while I was residing in Rochester, 
I made his acquaintance, and was captivated by his brilliant and 
admirable qualities. I had the opportunity of rendering him some 
slight service, which he, with characteristic generosity, estimated at 
far more than its real worth. I had the honor of introducing him to 
three presidents of American colleges, a circumstance to which he 
often alluded with pleasure. In 1854 he was invited to give the annual 
literary address before what was then Western Reserve College, at 
Hudson, Ohio, which has since been removed to Cleveland, and largely 
endowed, and which now bears the name of Adelbert College. It was 
the first time such an invitation had been given to him, or, I imagine, 
to any colored man. He naturally felt a good deal of hesitation. I 
urged him to accept the service. He did so, and, thinking that for a 
college occasion, something of a scientific turn would be demanded, he 
selected as his subject "The Claims of the Negro, Ethnologically Con 
sidered. " When he had read what was within his reach on the sub 
ject, I asked permission of Dr. Martin B. Anderson, then president oi 
the University of Rochester, an eminent and widely read student o 
ethnology, to bring Mr. Douglass to his, that the latter migh 
have the benefit of his great stores of information. The presid^n 

238 IN ME3I0EIAM. 

kindly welcomed him, loaned him books, and afforded him the yet 
more invaluable inspiration of his personal encouragement. The 
address went off well, although Mr. Douglass was fettered by the use 
of manuscript, to which he was unaccustomed, and probably was not 
unconscious of his academic audience. He subsequently expressed the 
opinion that he would nave done better to have spoken upon his great 
theme, and to have let himself out. One incident in regard to the I recall. He quoted the opinion of some ethnologist, who 
claimed that the negro was radically differentiated from the other 
races, by his small, thin, weak voice. Mr. Douglass made no com- 
ment, but simply declaimed this extract from the author in a voice of 
thunder that made the rafters ring. 

l,ater I was living in Worcester, the heart of the Commonwealth, a 
community more true to liberty than any other city in America. I 
fully agree with the sentiments that I have heard uttered by Theodore 
Parker, that, if you tie a rope ten miles long to the steeple of the Old 
South Church in Worcester, and use it as a radius, you will include 
within that circle a higher average, intellectually and morally, than 
anywhere else on the earth. Just after the crime of the Dred-Scott 
decision, I arranged a lecture for Mr. Douglass in the Worcester City 
Hall, and, for the first time in his history, he was introduced by the 
Mayor of the city, who presided. After the lecture, there was a little 
supper, at which, in addition to Mr. Douglass, the guest of honor, 
there were present John Brown of Ossawatamie, later of Harper's 
Ferry; Hon. EH Thayer, then Member of Congress; Hon. W. W. Rice, 
later Member of Congress; Hon. J. N. Walker, present Member of Con- 
gress, and other citizens. Pardon me for these details, which I do not 
enter into from any personal motive, but simply to introduce an inci- 
dent which took place twenty years later, while Mr. Douglass was 
Marshal of the District of Columbia. I called upon him in his office. 
His son came into the room, and Mr. Douglass said, "My son, this is 
Mr. Wayland. Mr. Wayland was a friend to your father at a time 
when your father needed a friend very much. ' ' The recollection of these 
few words, touching in their simplicity, I prize greatly at this hour. 

It would be very pleasant to spend the time which your courtesy allows 
me in eulogizing the virtues of Mr. Douglass. There is little need to 
speak of his eloquence. Coming upon the platform in a day when 
Curtis and Sumner and Phillips were speaking, he occupied no second 
place. Forty years ago, John G. Palfrey, formerly a professor in 
Harvard University, from his place in the popular branch of Congress, 
spoke of Mr. Douglass as speaking and writing the English language 
"in a manner of which any member might be proud. " He had the 
qualifications of a great orator. Eloquence comes from the heart It 
is true of the orator, as of the poet : 

' ' Men are cradled into poetry by wrong ; 
They learn in suffering, what they teach in song. " 


In order to be eloquent, there must be a great cause, a great experi- 
ence, a great agony. 1 can but think it a wonderful adjustment of 
Provideuce that in Mr. Douglass were united the burning experience, 
with the gift of speech. I seem to hear him now, as, looking back to 
the former condition of himself and those associated with him, he 
exclaimed, "Oh, the depth, the depth!" The utterance of these words 
cost him twenty years of slavery and a half century of sympathy. 

Along with his eloquence and his brilliancy, Mr. Douglass united a 
wisdom, a good sense, a good taste, that never allowed him to go 
astray. I recall no public man who has made fewer mistakes. His 
wisdom, together with his mental independence, was illustrated by his 
relations to Mr. Garrison and others of the old abolition leaders. They 
held that the Constitution was a pro-slavery document ; that it was, in 
their own often-quoted language (which I think was printed every 
week on the first page of the Liberator), "a covenant with death and 
an agreement with hell. " They refused to act under the Constitution. 
They abjured the exercise of the franchise. They set at naught force 
and trusted only to moral appeal. But they did use words infinitely 
sharper than the sword. Mr. Douglass' early associations were with 
these men, who are to be honored for their bravery and their fidelity. 
But in the course of time, with enlarging wisdom, he found himself 
differing from them, and he was forced to protest against their funda- 
mental principle and against their methods and spirit. He declared 
that the Constitution was an anti-slavery document, and that it con- 
tained resources for the universal establishment of liberty. Time 
passed. Under the forms of the Constitution, the great emancipator 
was elected. A President, constitutionally chosen, signed the Procla- 
mation of Emancipation, and, through the armies of the United States, 
and under its fiag, slavery was annihilated. 

A striking feature in the character of Mr. Douglass was the absence 
of bitterness. He warred against a system, not against man. That 
was a very touching episode, his visit, late in life, to his old master, 
from whom, fifty years before, he had run away. 

Mr. Douglass had a broad humanity. His sympathies were not con- 
fined to the advocacy of any single cause, or the champiouship of any 
single class or sex. His voice was enlisted for all who suffered wrong. 

It would be pleasant to dwell at length upon the character of our 
honored friend. But I think we should do injustice to the occasion, 
if we did not draw from the life that has closed, one or two lessons. 
Especially here is an example in inspiration, for the young. I do not 
know in all history a parallel. Here is a lad — bom a slave, not merely 
a serf, of the same race and color of the master, and belonging to the 
soil ; but bearing upon his brow the indelible problem of his .servitude, 
and of the of his mother; liable to l)e brought to the 
block at a moment's notice; knowing law only by the burdens it 
imposed and the wrongs it inflicted. To teach him the five letters 


which spell the name of the Redeemer of mankind is a penal offence. 
He has no property, no rights, no future. In childhood he sleeps on 
the fioor, in a tow bag, which but partly covers him. He wears by 
day a single tow garment, and he picks out of the dust the grains of 
corn which the chickens have left. You heard him say, not long 
ago, in this city: "The slave looked at his body, and they told him 
it belonged to his master; and they told him that his soul belonged 
to God, and so he had nothing. " He bore on his own body the marks 
of the lash, and could not have protected his own sister, his own 
mother, his own wife, from the vilest profanation. Robbed of every- 
thing else, he has a soul, a will, a mind ; he has a sense of right and 
wrong, he has something in him, which, like the magnetic needle, 
eagerly quivers toward the North, and he dreams of the polar star. 

After he had made his way to a land where slavery was forbidden, 
he was yet under the ban. White workmen would not labor by his 
side; in the steamboat, in the cars, in the place of amusement, not sel- 
dom iu the house of worship, be saw or heard or felt the word.s, "No 
niggers allowed here ! ' ' 

This was the man who, later, was the friend of Lincoln, and of Grant 
and of Sumner; who was chosen elector-at-large for the Empire State; 
who repeatedly sailed upon national ships, sent upon errands of honor 
by the nation ; who ranked among the authors and orators of America; 
who was a welcome guest in many of the oldest and proudest homes of 
Great Britain and of Europe; who, but the other daj', was borne to his 
grave amid universal reverence; whose body lay in state in the cit}' of 
Rochester, where for a score of years he had resided. The story of his 
youth, of his manhood, of his age, unite in saying to evei-y young 
man: "Nothing is impossible to him who wills." "Would you be held 
in honor? Make yourself worthy of honor!" 

And out of this life, there grows a lesson for every one of us. We 
shall have conflict.s, obstacles, enemies; and the higher our aims, the 
more generous our purposes, so much the more formidable the adver- 
saries. We have to contend against the saloon, against the gambling- 
hell, against the spoils system, the fraudulent vote, against 
ignorance, against superstition, against oppression, against race preju- 
dice, against the lynching mob. Not seldom the conflict seems difTicult, 
and success is invisible. We look at his history ; we see the changes 
and the conquests which were compassed by the duration of a single 
life; we see the system of slavery, which for generations ruled the 
country absolutely, and which .seemed more enduring than Gibraltar, 
now a dishonored fact in ancient history. We see an ami)' of dark-hued 
children going daily to their schools. We see the colored adorning 
almost every station and every profession, and we realize that despair, 
that doubt, is a crime, which not humanity, and hardly God, can 


An Extract the Address of Mrs. Fannie 

Jackson Coppin, Delivered at the Memorial 

Meeting in Philadelphia, Pa., 

April 15, 1S95. 

"The picturesque figure of Frederick Douglass stands 
vividly before us as one of the great spirits born in servitude and 
nursed in sco'-n. He worked himself up to a position that any man in 
the world might be proud to hold, but the one thing that most distin- 
guished him, was his sterling character. Frederick Douglass lived to 
see the great work for which he had labored fully completed. His good 
opinion of the rights of women was also a striking trait in his 
character. He held that women were not only capable of governing 
the household, but also of elective franchise. We have lost the most 
conspicuous advocate of our rights, by the death of Frederick Doulgass. 
The matter of justice and right is being fought now, by only a few 
colored people, but the principles of justice and freedom in this country 
shall flourish over the graves of those who contend against them. F'red- 
erick Douglass is dead, but his memory and his work will still live." 

ADDRE.SS OF Mr. S. H. Taft, Delivered at the Memo- 
rial Meeting held at Des Moines, Iowa, 
]\Iarch 6, 1895. 

Jl/r. Cliainnan and Fellow Citizens : 

On coming into your city to-night I learned, from the morning 
papers, of this meeting, called to commemorate the great services which 
Frederick Douglass has rendered to his race, to the nation, and the 
world. While at once resolving to attend, I had no expectation of 
taking part in the meeting, as one of the speakers. But in the absence 
of your distinguished fellow citizen. Judge Wright, who cannot be 
present, I should do violence to the spirit of the occasion should i 
decline to accept the invitation to speak this evening. 

Frederick Dougla,ss and I were friends in the olden days when con- 
tempt for, and persecution of, the old line abolitionists, gave gre;'t 
significance to friendship. We were often associated together in the 
Liberty party campaigns. I first met Mr. Douglass at anti-slavery 
meetings, where he was always in demand. When lecturing in Oswego 
County, New York, he used often to make my father's house his home. 
Mr. Douglass was a delightful conversationalist and one of the best of 
story tellers. His stories were free from the taint of vulgarity, always 


mirth provoking, often instructive. When listeniuK to a narration of 
his own adventures one was often at a loss to know whether to laugh or 
weep, and would often do both before he knew it. No one who ever heard 
Mr. Douglass tell the story of his first Sunday in church after his escape 
from slavery, will ever forget it. I will venture to repeat the story as 
I remember it. "On the first Sunday after my coming into a free State 
I attended meeting at a Methodist church. Entering the church I had 
proceeded but a little way up the aisle, when the usher touched me on 
the shoulder, saying, 'The colored people sit up there, ' pointing up into 
the gallery. I went up there and found the part of the gallery designed 
for us, with verj' different seats from those occupied by the white people ; 
the partitions between our pews being much the higher, so high that 
none but verj* tall persons could see the preacher, when seated. I 
remained through the service in no verj' devotional frame of mind. It 
being cjuarterly meeting, the ordinance of the Lord's Supper was 
observed. During the singing which followed the sermon, the altar was 
twice filled and the communicants served, after which the presiding 
elder said, ' If there are any more of our white brethren and sisters who 
have not partaken of the sacred emblems, let them now come forward. ' 
Not to exceed half a dozen came to the altar, leaving plenty of room for 
all the colored members to be served at the same time, but this might 
not be. After these few had partaken and retired, the presiding elder, 
peering from the pulpit up to the retired corner occupied by the colored 
people, and extending both hands in an inviting and pleading manner, 
exclaimed, 'And now let our dear colored brethren and sisters come 
forward ; come forward, brethren and sisters, come forward, and partake 
of the sacred emblems, for God is no respecter of persons. ' I did not 
go forward, for I felt like the simple fellow who, having applied for 
admission to a Baptist church, and seeing that he was likely to be 
rejected, quickly arose and withdrew his application, giving as a reason, 
that he had changed his mind and instead of uniting with the church he 
was going to join an engine company. ' ' 

I had the honor to be one of the delegates representing the State of 
New York, in the Pittsburg convention of 1852, which nominated Hale 
and Julian as the standard bearers of the Free Democratic party. Among 
the delegates representing the Empire State were Gerritt Smith and 
Frederick Douglass. On our way home the cars halted for the passengers 
to take dinner at a station between Pittsburg and Cleveland. The New 
York delegation, with many New England delegates, among whom 
were Charles Francis Adams, Amasa Walker, and General Wilson, 
commenced gathering around a long table prepared for the occasion, 
when the master of ceremonies seeing the stalwart figure of Douglass 
approaching the table, called out to him, "You cannot come, we 
don't feed niggers here." As Douglass went out the whole delegation 
followed him, and crossing the street, we took dinner at a more hospitable 
table. . 


Mr. Douglass was a man of the highest oratorical power. He was also 
a statesman of marked attainments, and bis statesmanship was of that 
high order which led him to recognize the principle of law as proclaimed 
by Blackstone, viz., "To command what is right and forbid what is 
wrong." Fidelity to this principle of law, not only made him a foe to 
American slavery, but also to all forms of monopoly, and especially to 
the most heartless and murderous monopoly of all, the licensed saloon 
trafEc. His conception of law represented under a Republican form of 
govemment made him, of necessity, a defender of equal suffrage, which 
cause he championed with masterly ability. 

The sentiment of Terrance, a Grecian slave, uttered centuries ago, found 
full expression in the life and work of Frederick Douglass, viz. : "Noth- 
ing pertaining to the welfare of man is foreign tome." When he 
came into the political arena, he found the Whig and Democratic parties 
wholly dominated by the slave power, and he identified himself with the 
despised band of abolitionists, known as the Liberty party. He remained 
with this party until its place was first taken by the Free-Soil party, of 
1S4S; next by the Free Democratic party, of 1S52; and finallj' by the 
Republican party, of 1856-60. Well do I remember his terrible arraign- 
ment and condemnation of the old political parties, for their guilty part- 
nership with African slavery. On one occasion, after drawing a picture 
of the nation's guilt, that made every cheek tingle with indignant shame, 
he said, ' ' I welcome the bolt, come it from heaven or hell, that shall 
break the power of these allies of American slavery. ' ' His resistless 
power as an orator, on great occasions, was unsurpassed by any of all 
the great men who have fought freedom's battles. At the time when the 
representatives of slavery stood in the pulpits, presided in our courts, 
mutilated our school books and made the laws of the nation, a meeting 
of the persecuted friends of freedom was held in Tremont Temple, 
Boston, Frederick Douglass being one of the speakers. He told the story 
of the nation's shame and of freedom's betrayal. He spoke of the 
anguish of his race, and of the humiliation of Northern freemen, who 
by the Fugitive Slave Law had been transformed into bloodhounds to 
baj- upon the path of the fleeing bondman. The expression of his face, 
and the intonations of his voice, told of feelings too deep for utterance. 
The audience had come into such perfect sympathy with the speaker, that 
ever}' heart seemed ready to break with commingled feelings of humilia- 
tion, indignation and despair, when the oppressive spell was broken by 
Sojourner Truth, who cried out, "Frederick! is God dead?" That ques- 
tion, like the affirmation of Garfield on the occasion of Lincoln's assassina- 
tion, pierced the brooding night of despair, with the sunlight of hope. For 
several moments, Mr. Douglass stood silent, then answered slowly and sol- 
emnly : " No ! God is not dead! And it is because God is not dead, that I 
speak!" Mr. Douglass was a deeply religious man. Believing in God, he 
believed in the final triumph of right. In this faith he lived and 
worked, and in this faith he triumphantly and peacefully died. 


Mr. Douglass has been an important personality among American 
reformers for almost half a century. What cause having for its object 
the bringing in of God's kingdom upon earth, has he not advocated? 
He ■tt'ill be greatly missed. Wliile mourning his departure, let us not 
fail to temper our sorrow with the sentiment of gratitude, that he has 
been so faithful in his service to humanity and God, and that the rich 
fruits of his labors remain to bless the world. In sad sincerity I lay 
upon memor>''s altar my tribute of respect and love for the genial, 
faithful friend, the eloquent orator, the noble patriot, the wise statesman, 
and the Christian gentleman, Frederick Douglass. 

Remarks of Ju.stice John M. Harlan, of the United 
States Supreme Court, 

At the Memorial Meeting held in the Metropolitan A. 
M. E. Church, Washington, D. C, Tuesday Evening, June 
4, 1895, by the Bethel Literary and Historical Association, 
of which Mr. Douglass was a member. 

Justice Harlan, in taking the chair, said : 

I accept without hesitation, the invitation to preside over this meeting, 
and the more because I am always glad of an opportunity to testify to 
my respect for the memory of the distinguished man whom we honor 
here to-night, a man great in his physical manhood, but still greater in 
his mental and moral organization. I do not hesitate to say that among 
the orators that this country has produced, there was no greater than 
Frederick Douglass, and in all my long enjoyment of his acquaintance, 
I never met a man of loftier character. 

The address of the evening was delivered by Hon. E. D. 
Bassett, ex-Minister to Haiti. 

The Address of Mr. B.^ssett. 

In making up a judgment of Mr. Douglass we cannot stop with the 
application of the facts, and only those are satisfactorily applied in 
judging and weighing other men who like him have stood out before 
the world as the great lights stand out in our Northern sky. The stand- 
ards by which we may judge and compare other men do not cover his 
case. It is evident that no just estimate can be made of his qualities 
and achievements without a proper consideration of the estate of his 
birth and early years, which is unlike that of other men grown great in our 


historj-, and of the tlien existing and subsequent condition of things 
affecting the current of his life and of events as the world saw them. 
But there must also be taken into view the fixed conventional forces, 
stronger and more difficult of change than the written law, because they 
lie in the unreasoning, universal consent, or the preponderating acquies- 
cence of sentiment beyond the reach of the mere lex soip/a, -which were 
arrayed against him, but of which others with whom we might compare 
him, never felt the crushing effect. Indeed it is believed that the his- 
tory of the human species shows that an all-pervading race prejudice, 
the soul and animus of the caste system, is one of the strongest forces 
in the world, and I think that in our own country it is only a little less 
un-American, or an infringement on the genius of our institutions and 
the spirit of Christian civilization, than slaverj- itself. 

"You must judge us, " as he himself was wont to say. "You must 
judge us out of the depths out of which we have come, rather than by 
any heights to which we have risen. ' ' 

And those depths, hardly conceivable by one of the present genera- 
tion, were the darkness of the tomb, the very shadow of death. They 
constituted the system which engulfed him at his birth, and by which 
men were counted as mere property, personal property, and in one 
State (Louisiana) at least, they were held, I know not by what princi- 
ple of accepted law, to be real estate. This form of bondage was not 
merely theoretical ; " it was not, ' ' as Mr. Douglass once said of Dr. 
Gardiner Spring's reference to slavery /er if and ipso facto, "any mere 
Latin grammar slaverj-. ' ' But it was and was intended to be, a real 
slaverj-, which bound the limbs in chains ; which seared the quivering 
flesh ; which darkened the windows of the soul ; which burned out the 
moral eyes ; which stifled the voice of conscience, robbed men of their 
manhood by cowing the courage and crushing the instincts of manliness 
and humanity, and subordinated by actual physical force and violence, 
by the cat-o' -nine-tails and the thumb screw, the whole human existence 
in all its possible aspirations to joy and happiness, to growth, divine 
inspiration and preparation for the hereafter, to the absolute whim or 
will of another. No account whatever could be taken of the slaves' 
wishes. The deliberate purpose often, and the tendency always, were to 
imbrute, to wear out or use up solely according to avarice and greed, so 
that human life became a mere question of mathematics on the ledger 
of the slave owner. I know that this statement has been hotly denied. 
But it is nevertheless a matter of historical record that it was openly 
avowed to be a sound principle of plantation management in some of 
our Southern Stat-^s to work up gangs of negroes everj- seven years and 
supply their places by new purchases, rather than to attempt to prolong 
their lives by moderate labor.s. (See Brj-ant's U. S. History, Vol. IV., 
p. 261. ) At any rate it was all darkness and ignorance and moral 
death, wholly an abject animal existence, under constant coercion. 
And there was a fixed determination, at least a concurrent understanding. 


of State, of society, and of church, that the slave and his offspring 
should be forever kept in the estate of their birth. 

Now it was in the lowest depth of these depths, in this very mouth 
of hell, in this Golgotha of human woe, this very darkest of obscurity, 
that Frederick Douglass was born and spent the first twenty-one years 
of his life. 

His case appears without a parallel in that of any other man who has 
climbed up before the world and won, as he won, the confidence of 
civilization and the respect of mankind. For when we turn from the 
revolting picture in the prison-house of despair, we see this man who 
was there weighted down with chains and reared in hunger and degrada- 
tion, in rags and scorn, risen to an eminence and esteem in the world 
which has rarely been surpassed by any other American, however 
favored by social or ofiicial station. If we recall the messages con- 
cerning him that have recently appeared in the great journals through- 
out our own and other lands, we may be persuaded that this is not the 
language of exaggeration or extravagance. 

Certain it is that his life was a romance. It was indeed stranger than 
any mere fiction, more notable, more extraordinary than that of any other 
man in the history of this country. No other man ever has touched or 
ever can now touch against almost every phase of American life as he 
did. No other man more than he could command the thoughtful atten- 
tion, quicken the understanding or awaken the conscience of the great 
public on any mooted question affecting the rights of man, or the 
interests of humanity, fair dealing or good citizenship in this Republic. 
And I think it can justly be said of him that on no other ground what- 
ever than that of pure personal merit, he fairly impressed himself on 
the times in which he lived as it comes to few of any estate or country 
or epoch to be able to do. 

It is true that he held public office. But this was after he was fifty 
years of age, and, although he confessedly fulfilled with dignity, with 
signal fidelity and ability every public trust confided to him,— it cannot 
justly be claimed or pretended that mere official station added in the 
least to the general esteem which he had already won or to his acknowl- 
edged power anil influence among men. 

It is in no way probable that the world will soon forget so prominent, 
so striking, so unique a figure, a life that pre.'^ents such extra- 
ordinary extremes and contrasts. Frederick Douglass will take his 
place on the page of history as one of the most notable and honorably 
distinguished characters, not only of our own country, but also of our 

We may well pause to inquire what were the masterly intellectual and 
moral endowments, what the genius of inspiration, what the peculiar 
personal traits, what the invisible force, what the condition of things, 
—in a word, what were the secrets of this man's power, that permitted 
and led to these marvelous achievements? 


There were in him personal traits, habits of thought, mental pro- 
cesses, lines of reflection, unwritten rules governing his conduct, hopes 
and aspirations, all lying somewhat back of those which the general 
public knew of him. 

I am persuaded that all his fixed habits, all his springs of action 
and conduct, his speech and his conduct itself, carried to their min- 
utest scrutiny in his ordinary, everyday life, as I saw them, were cast 
on the highest and purest plane. I believe that if they could all be 
spread out upon canvass before us here to-day, not one of us would fail 
to honor and esteem him more than ever before, or to be inspired to 
nobler motives and longer life. 

WTiile it is altogether probable that Mr. Douglass' great abilities 
many remarkable qualities, and his distinguished energies would, under 
any circumstances, have pushed him to the front in any free community 
however great, it is still also probable that neither he nor any other man 
would have reached the heights that he reached, if there had not been 
after all in the spirit of the times, in the cotemporaneously existing 
conditions, in the trend of things, some favoring elements, some smoul- 
dering fires in the public conscience, which, however hidden from view 
or lulled into temporarj- silence, he seemed bom to touch and rekindle 
into activity. 

I once asked him if when he was in New Bedford working on the 
wharves, he had any idea of the possession of powers and abilities which 
the world has since recognized in him. He assured me in the 
impressive manner that he not onh' had at that time no idea whatever of 
any such possession, and could hardly realize the fact as late as when I 
put the question to him, but that his only ambition and wish were to 
be permitted to enjoy the fruits of his hard manual labor as a freeman. 

In the same sense General Grant tells us in his ' ' Memoirs' ' that in 
1861 he felt grave doubts as to his ability to command a single regiment 
of soldiers, and Bonaparte was at the age of tw-enty-five years denounced, 
put under arrest and disgraced for manifest ignorance and incompetency 
as a mere inspector of artillery. 

So imperfectly do men sometimes know themselves, and so much do 
great achievements depend on existing conditions and responsibilities. 

"I know very well," said Napoleon in the zenith of his power, "I 
know very well that my son cannot succeed me; I could not succeed 
myself. " 

Before Mr. Douglass had gained his freedom slavery had been abol- 
ished in the British Antillean colonies, and the avowed public policy 
of the government and the sentiment of the people of Great Britain, as 
well as of the European countries, were arrayed against slavery. The 
South American States, too, in throwing off allegiance to the Spanish 
crown had also thrown off the incubus of African slavery. All tliis 
constituted a tremendous moral force for freedom and against African 


There were also certain other irresistible, uiidergrouud currents slowly 
but s\irely underiniiiing oppression everywhere. One of them was the 
forces set in motion by the French Revolution, which even the selfish 
and hypocritical, but powerful, "Holy Alliance" could not wholly arrest; 
another was the very fundamental character of our own government; 
another was the steady growth of intelligence ; another was the theo- 
retical acceptance of the Christian religion, and still another was the 
existence all along and everywhere among us, of certain deep-seated, 
though dormant and suppressed, moral convictions and humane instincts, 
which were creditable alike to our common humanity and especially to 
the Anglo-Saxon race. 

As a logical outgrowth of all this, there had sprung up in several of 
the States anti-slavery societies, which were never wholly suppressed. 
But the expression against slavery became timid and receding, just in 
proportion as slavery became bold, defiant and aggressive. 

In 1791 Jonathan Edwards advocated immediate emancipation. There 
was almost no response and he withdrew. But forty years later a further 
outgrowth of all the culminating forces was the coming forward to the 
front of a bold, determined man, the very embodiment of the anti- 
slavery idea. 

In 1831 William Lloyd Garrison unfurled the banner of the immediate 
and unconditional abolition of slavery as the right of the slave and the 
duty of the master. Amid a sea of difficulties and everj' possible phase 
of discouragement, he hoisted and held the banner aloft. It stood out 
as a beacon light to the enslaved: it formed a nucleus around which 
could cluster all the bold, determined, aggressive anti-slavery convic- 
tions of the period. 

It must not, however, be forgotten that slavery and contempt for the 
negro race were now more active and exacting than ever. A careful 
American writer has stated that about that time in this country slaver>' 
was more powerful than the English throne was in 1625, monarchy in 
1780, or the English aristocracy in 1800. On the one side were the 
overshadowing influence of a great government, power, wealth, social 
standing, the press, the pulpit, the courts of law, a united public senti- 
ment and very great material interests; all in hostile array and armed 
with a fierce determination to stifle every anti-slavery utterance and put 
down every anti-slavery movement. 

On the other hand stood a single man of Puritan stock, inspired with 
a holy cause, armed only with a sense of duty and an unshakable purpose 
to speak the truth in peaceful appeal to the understanding and the con- 
science of his fellow men. He stood his ground amid every invention 
of tyrannical wrath, fiendish mobs, personal violence and brutal ostra- 
cism, and facing death at every turn. 

After ten years of battle with the slave power, victory seemed for him 
less possible than at the beginning. Slavery appeared to think that 
it had hedged him about so as to limit and minimize his power to harm 


its interests. There was a lull in the battle, and a sort of general 
apathy on the question of slavery had >,'radually spread over the country. 
Anti-slavery societies had begun to disband, and the people to tire of 
slavery agitation. 

It was just at this juncture that all unexpectedly and by the merest acci- 
dent, Mr. Douglass came upon the scene. It was like many another mere 
incident that has proved the beginning of important events in history. 

He was iu the full vigor of early manhood, being then in his twenty- 
fifth year, of tall and manly presence, possessing powers of intellect, 
eloquence and courage, which he and his small circle of acquaintances 
and friends then little suspected. But it was the man and the hour. before he knew it he had buckled on his armor and was ready 
for the conflict. The audacious, defiant, dominating presence of slavery, 
of which he had himself been so recently a victim, roused all the latent 
power of his being and at once lifted him to adequate expression. He 
had suffered intensely in slavery, and he would from the beginning 
burn into the understanding and heart of others both the facts and the 
cause of his sufferings. As he spoke of the dreadful wrongs of slavery. 
his eye glowed with intensity and his whole being seemed to be lighted 
up with inspiration from on high. 

As he now went from city to city and from .State to State, his powers 
developed rapidly. He soon began to appear to those who heard him, 
like a revelation, a fiery meteor, clothed with almost superhuman powers 
let down from the skies to stir up the human heart against slavery, — 
the first small wire stretched over the chasm separating the two races 
and he was in truth an entirely new element flung into the scales 
against slavery. He was like Bliicher at Waterloo, — Sheridan at Win- 
chester. The fame of him spread rapidly after that extraordinarj' 
impromptu outburst at Nantucket in the summer of 1841. Forthwith 
interest in the Garrisoniau crusade began to revive. To Mr. Douglass 
more than to any other man, was due the revival of interest iu the anti- 
slavery agitation from 1841 and onward. It was a great, singular and 
marvelous regeneration. 

There was this man — this unlettered negro, just escaped from slavery, 
who somehow, in spite of the unpopularitj- of his color and his cause, 
could and did command attention and provoke discussion wherever he 
went, — here was this messenger from the dark land of slavery, a living, 
overwhelming contradiction to all the specious pleas of the slaveholder. 
He told such a straightforward story, he spoke with so much sense and 
force, with so much courage and genius, that even men who despised 
and condemned, could but listen, and to listen was to be stirred and 

Ingenious devices, threats of kidnapping and actual personal violence 
were put into requisition to silence him. But it is a most remarkable 
fact that every attempt to discredit him, to cow, coerce, or coax him 
into holding his peace, seemed in some mysterious way to be in the 

250 IN ME MOB I AM. 

end turned to his advantage. Indeed, he himself modestly says in his 
autobiography that he was often more indebted to his enemies than to 
his own skill or the assistance of friends for whatever success attended 
his labors. It is a literal fact that in the height of the anti-slavery 
struggle he actually drew the eyes of two continents upon him. 

As I look back at it all now, it seems as if he really were an apostle, 
inspired and sent of God to proclaim through the darkness the glad 
tidings of a coming emancipation. 

Again and again men asked, Whence hath this man knowledge, 
having never learned, and being only a negro? 

I very much doubt whether there is in our country to-day any man 
that could command the public attention now, as Mr. Douglass did then. 
At any rate there is not now, and I hope there never will be again, any 
such mooted question to touch the heart and stir the instincts of human- 
ity, as slavery did. 

What was there in this man which enabled him thus to tower above 
others of the same faith, over others who like himself had escaped from 
slavery, and, I may ask, over men of the more favored race, gifted with 
faith, courage and eloquence, who had called him to their side? In the 
first place, nature and early training seemed to have equipped him in 
a special manner for his life-work. No college or university, however 
moss-grown its shades, ever sent forth a graduate more aptly fitted for 
a useful or special calling than Mr. Douglass was for the fulfillment of 
his mission. His was indeed a hard school, but it did its work 

You may well smile when I speak of his training, j-et it may be 
fairly presumed that his running wild in childhood, his hard out-door 
work and light diet in youth, helped to develop that powerful, finely 
knit frame, and to lay the foundations of that remarkable capacity of 
endurance, courage and abstemiousness, which characterized all his 
subsequent life. 

Mr.' physical equipment left little to be desired. The tall 
and manly form of singular grace and vitality ; the erect carriage that 
had something majestic about it; the searching but kindly eye ; the 
whole cut of that strange, strong face, set off with the semblance of a 
certain scornful expression which told of the gall of early trials to a 
proud and sensitive nature like his; the never-to-be-forgotten flowing 
locks; the striking intelligence beaming in the look; the apparently 
unconscious possession of reserved forces; the perfect self-poise ; the 
rare and happy blending of affability and modesty with dignity of 
bearing — all this gave him a distinguished appearance, a truly impos- 
ing presence, which everywhere stamped him as a man of mark, and 
were of no mean advantage to him from the beginning to the end of his 

His faculty of observation and perception was singularly clear and 
keen, and his memory was phenomenal. He saw everything and 


remembered ever>-thiiig. About the only reference I ever heard him 
make to his many striking gifts of intelligence was when he saia to 
me some j'ears ago: "Ah yes, Bassett, nothing escapes me, nothing 
escapes me." He was not artificial and it was difficult for him to con- 
ceal whatever was uppermost with him. But it was this faculty of clear, 
keen observation, coupled with his just appreciation of things that 
enabled him to profit in so marked a degree by the cultivation and 
refinement with which he came in contact. lie could not assume a 
semblance. He had to absorb and make his own before he could use 
what he desired. 

He possessed the power of rapid induction and sustained inward 
reflexion to an extent that is altogether beyond the ordinary, even 
among the most irtelligent; and the same estimate may be placed upon 
his strong, penetrating intuitions. These together gave him the power 
to see, to weigh, to compare, with surprising and unequivocal accuracy, 
and to seem often to leap over intervening steps, from phenomena and 
facts to their cause and just relation. It was thus that he was ne\er 
caught unawares or put in a place that he could not fill. 

When I was a lad I used to hear the lawyers say of Chief Justice 
Marshall, that he first gave his decisions by a sort of intuition and 
then called upon Mr. Justice Storj' to hunt up the authorities, after- 
wanl. What set the country lawyers to talking about it was that the 
Justice's law, dug up with infinite pains, and the Chief Justice's intu- 
ition.s, generally agreed. It always seemed that Mr. Douglass could 
have just as safely trusted his intuitions. 

His grasp of thought, resting on broad and solid base, led him to new 
and often striking and brilliant generalizations. Common sense, which 
Trench declares to be the common bond of all others, he possessed in a 
very high degree. In him it seemed overpowering, and it never forsook 
him. It acted as a balance wheel to his other faculties, and with them 
gave him the power to look on all sides of things in such a way that he 
seldom got them out of their real or relative proportions to one another 
Whoever knew him to offend good tastes? Whoever heard him say an 
altogether foolish or preposterous or wholly unreasonable thing? And 
who that knew him well or heard him often can have failed to note or 
can easily forget the telling sense of humor which seemed so natural to 
him, and which sometimes led him to point an argument with the 
reductio ad absurdum, and often to seize upon incongruities and con- 
trasts? Sometimes he could condense a whole case in these ways. 

He sent a train of thought running through the country when he 
stood up before the American people, at the great gathering at Pitts- 
burg in 1852 and proclaimed that "the man who is right is himself a 
majority." He caused the Republican heart to rejoice when at an 
opportune moment he coined two expressions that saw the length of the 
land and saved many a vote to the Republican party. "The Republican 
party is the ship — all else is the sea, ' ' is one of them, and the other is. 


"Every road out of the Republican party leads direct to the Democratic 
camp. ' ' 

Of his homely epigrammatic sayings, two, and many more probably, 
"He is whipped oftenest who is whipped easiest," and "I never could 
see the wisdom of going into a fight without a reasonable prospect of 
whipping somebody," caused many an average man to smile and say, 
just as it was said of Franklin's maxims in the last century, "Why, 
yes, that is so, but I never thought of it just that way before. ' ' 

His astonishing reputation as an orator was made wholly by extem- 
pore speaking. But in later years, after the reporters took to following 
him up, and criticisms loud and deep persistently carped after him, he 
gradually fell into the habit of careful preparation. Thereafter the 
habit grew upon him until he became painstaking and somewhat 
cautious in his speech. 

It was thus that ordinarily, when he was unexcited by unforeseen 
occasions calling for a sudden display of strength, his mental powers 
appeared rather slow, but they were remarkably — sometimes even 
marvelously — clear, searching and wide in their scope. Some of his most 
extraordinary flashes of soul-stirring eloquence, in which, however, he 
always carried with him the understanding and the good sense of his 
hearers, were called out by these unexpected occasions. Still it 
was in the careful preparation that his masterful breadth of intel- 
lect, his great powers of application and his eloquence shone out most 

I remember especially that when on one of these unforeseen occasions 
it seemed not only as if he were speaking as never man spoke before, 
but as if, had he continued, his hearers would have almost burst 
asunder, as though overcharged with electric fluid, the great audience, 
moved by an inexpressible, common impulse, all rose from their seats, 
rushed toward the platform, and bore him off in their arms. We have 
read of such scenes under the inspiration of Henry Grattan and Daniel 
O'Connell, but I was an eye-witness to the case just related of Mr. 

Gifted as he was by nature with fluency of speech, he came, strangely 
enough, at last to a lack of full confidence in himself to speak in public 
without somewhat of special preparation. Still he was always a logical, 
captivating, off-hand extempore speaker. Indeed it is to be doubted if 
America has ever produced a more effective and eloquent orator than he. 
It was he, rather than Phillips and Quincy, both gifted sons of wealth 
and of Harvard, or Gerritt Smith or Mr. Garrison, of world-wide fame, 
that drew the multitude around the anti-slavery platform after 1S41. 

It would be difficult to draw a parallel between him and our recog- 
nized great orators of the last generation and the present, to both of 
which he belongs; not merely because of the gulf of dissimilarity 
between him and them in point of opportunity, but also because most 
of them had behind them organized parties. It was their good fortune 


to give expression to the views of larger bodies of men, governing 
masses, entrusted or hoping to be entrusted with the wielding of great 
policies of state, with the shaping of great public interests; others of 
them, trained in the best schools, were lifted to eloquence by voicing 
traditional and established institutions of church, of society, of power- 
ful concurring sentiment and opinion. 

Any comparison between them and Mr. Douglass, who had against 
him both an unpopular cause and an intense race prejudice, would be 
wholly unfair, unless all the circumstances be carefully considered. 

Professor Goodrich, after having heard Daniel Webster in the famous 
Dartmouth College case, wrote to Rufus Choate that the one thing that 
he had learned from the occasion was that true oratory consists not so 
much in what is said as in him who says it, and you remember that 
JMr. Webster himself said that oratory consists in the man and in the 

Whenever and wherever Mr. Douglass spoke he had a theme which 
was always for the betterment of mankind. He knew how to be effec- 
tive without recourse to what are called the "tricks of oratory." He 
had a serious, solemn mission to fulfill, and as it was to be effective ou 
that that he spoke, he scorned every appearance of subterfuge or evas- 
ion. His aim was to impress and convict. 

I remember that when in July or August, 1S54, he was delivering his 
oration on "The Claims of the Negro Ethnologically Considered," 
before the literary societies of We.stern Reserve College, coming to a 
passage in which some ethnologist, I think it was Gliddon or Nott, 
offered, as one proof that the negro was radically differentiated from 
the other races, the assertion that "the voice of the negro in the male 
sex is thin, hoarse and weak," Mr. Douglass read the passage in a 
voice of clear, ringing, thundering tone that almost lifted the rafters 
and shook the ceiling and passed it over without a word of comment. 
This adroit treatment of the learned ethnologist was, under the circum- 
stances of the moment, more effective than any other argument could 
have been. 

Mr. Douglass was pre-eminently a man of character. We may be 
sure that no man could possibly stand up as a public speaker before the 
two great English speaking peoples of the world, for more than fifty 
years, and be more sought after at the end than at the beginning of 
his career, unless he were of unimpeachable sincerity and solid, ster- 
ling character; nor unless he had something to say, and said it well. 
Character, true, virtuous, manly character, lies at the basis of all genu- 
ine oratory, and courage and a good cause are its adjuncts. 

We all know that Mr. Douglass was by nature an eloquent, off-hand 
speaker, and yet he told me that not unfrequently he had sat "trem- 
bling in every limb, " as he expressed it, when he was momentarily 
expecting to be called up before an audience. I fancy that that was a 
feature in his make-up that was little suspected by the public. 


Frederick Douglass will take his place on the pages of history as one 
of the very few of the truly notable orators that America has ever pro- 
duced. You have just heard the eminent Justice (Harlan) of the 
Supreme Court, whom I believe to be held in as high esteem as any 
man that ever sat in that exalted tribunal, — you have heard him say 
that America has had no greater orator than Frederick Douglass. 

I was surprised to find him a singularly slow reader. He apparently 
read but to digest and absorb. The scholarly habit was innate in him, 
and it gave him a wide sweep of accurate knowledge, particularly of 
contemporary men and events. He had evidently made a careful study 
of the Bible, and he knew more of the current and permanent litera- 
ture of our language than would be supposed. His ever faithful mem- 
ory placed all that he read at his command, and he could, as occasion 
required, make a just estimate and fair use of all that he knew. 

Perhaps the most remarkable phenomenon in all of Mr. Douglass' 
rare gifts, was his clear, accurate, elevated style in writing and speak- 
ing. His syntax, his choice of words and construction of sentence.s, 
were models of accuracy. His style was clear, lucid, and wholly 
within the rules of good taste, and his manuscript bore every mark of 
coming from a trained scholar. 

I should say that Mr. Douglass' crowning intellectual endowments 
were perception, memory, intuition, induction, reflection, wit, an 
unfailing common-sense, and power of patient, sustained application, 
all of which he possessed to an unusual and some of them to an extra- 
ordinary degree. 

Striking and extraordinary as were Mr. Douglass' physical and intel- 
lectual endowments, I thiuk that what may be called his moral quali- 
ties were of quite as high an order. 

All his convictions and inspirations, his fixed habits of thought and 
lines of action, and his standards of judgment, ran in very high moral 
grooves. His confidence in the strength and certain triumph of what- 
ever is just and right in all things, was simply sublime and all-pervad- 
ing. It gave him a majestic selfhood, an unshakable will to speak and 
act out the right always, and enabled him to hope on, hope ever. It 
made him habitually sunny and cheerful, bold and courageous, frank 
and candid, even-tempered and above board in whatever he did. 

In all of those darkest of dark days and trying times, from 1850 to 1861, 
I never knew him to falter in his confident belief that slavery in the 
South was so essentially wrong, so full of unutterable atrocities, so 
diametrically opposed to the spirit of the times and to the moral con- 
stitution of the universe by which all things must ultimately square, 
that it could not possibly endure. 

In an article that he wrote for his paper in 185S or 1S59, entitled 
"Watchman, What of the Night?" and which attracted unusual atten- 
tion, he said : "We are well on in the beginning of the last half of the 
nineteenth century, and yet the end of American slavery no man can 


tell, but let us be assured that 'couie it must and coine it will for a' 
that. ' ' ' 

From the moment, when, in .September, 1838, he landed a free man 
in New Bedford, until the first of January, 1S53, the one controlling 
aim and desire of his life were the abolition of slavery. To this end 
he bent his best energies and devoted all his remarkable powers. We 
may well wonder now at the manly, moral courage, the heroic devo- 
tion, which sustained him in all this struggle. A determined hostile 
public sentiment which despised him as a negro and hated him for his 
cause, angrj- mobs, sticks, clubs, vile missiles, personal danger, fierce 
denunciation, threats of death and of being kidnapped by night, — all 
fell in vain upon him. They never shook him from his lofty purpose 
to stand up for the cause which he had espoused. 

In 1S31 William Lloyd Garrison, said, in the teeth of an infuriated pro- 
slavery mob thirsting for his blood and determined to strike him into 
silence: "I am in earnest; I will not equivocate; I will not excuse; I 
will not retreat a single inch, and I will be heard." And he kept his 
word almost single-handed through an unrelenting battle of thirty-two 
years. I know of nothing like it iu our day. Under the circumstances 
it was heroic, it was sublime, it was an epic poem. Heroism is not 
unknown to the Anglo-Saxon race. 

But Frederick Douglass was a negro, and he stood up without a 
falter, for more than twenty years, to all the heroic and lofty lines of 
action proclaimed by Mr. Garrison in the beginning of his anti-slavery 

It was this singleness of purpose, this heroic devotion to principle, 
through the Red Sea of obloquy and trial, of danger and death, that 
must never be forgotten whenever and wherever the name of Frederick 
Douglass is mentioned. 

In spite of all his countrj- failed to do for him, in failing to give him 
the common inheritance of a citizen at his birth, and in failing also to 
open to him the gates of opportunity so freely opened to others, Mr. 
Douglass will take his place incur historj' as a type of honorable, high- 
minded, gifted, dignified American manhood, which ought to be the 
emulation of his countrj-men everj-where and forever. 

It seemed to me that he never harbored — I am almost sure that he 
never nursed or cherished, the baser thoughts of malice and revenge. 
Neither did plotting for merely selfish ends find abode with him. 

I wish to bear my testimony on this point, and I invite j-our special 
attention to it, that although he went in and out before the public a 
marked man, known and read of all men for more than fifty years, and 
although for a good part of that time it would have been to the temporal 
advantage of important social and material interests, to weaken his 
influence and undermine his good standing as an honorable man, and 
although he was beset at many a turn, as it is inevitable that a man 
like him must be, by artful, crafty, insinuating temptations, }'et to the 

256 J.\ MEMORIAM. 

best of my knowledge and belief, and let it be hung up before the eyes 
of our young men, no serious charge of dishonor, or double dealing or 
impuritj', was ever so much as whispered against him by any responsible 
or impartial person or power. It is my unqualified belief that no 
human power could induce him to touch one penny that he did not 
believe to be fairly, squarely and openly above board his. 

His ideas and estimates of women were very high and very pure, and 
he was fond of their society. In the social circle he bubbled all over 
with life and wit and ready knowledge, and was altogether a more 
captivating talker there than on the platform. But I do not believe 
that anybody ever heard from his lips a single indelicate or questionable 
utterance. He despised and recoiled at coarseness and vulgarity. 

I never saw him cross or petulant or unreasonable. His limitless 
faith in whatever is reasonable and just not only added to his firmness, 
but it appeared to me to put him above mere ill temper. 

It is proper to add that every one of his official acts were approved 
at Washington, and that his term of service was regarded at the White 
House, and is on record at the State Department, as altogether creditable 
to himself and honorable to his country. 

Mr. Douglass' view was that the final solution of the so-called negro 
problem will be found, on the one hand, in the nation's growth in 
wholesome intelligence and the controlling sense of justice, and on the 
other hand in the complete absorption by the negro himself of the 
Christian civilization and of the ways of honorable existence by which 
he is surrounded. 

Mr. Douglass felt satisfied that no candid, impartial person of intelli- 
gence could deny that the negro has already made a reasonable begin- 
ning in what is required of him, or that his aims, his aspirations, his 
aptitudes, and the aggregate of his tendencies, as we are bound to 
interpret them from the best element of his members, all lie in the same 

^nd to this beginning and tending Mr. Douglass believed that we 
must add the spirit of the times in which men live, the prevailing trend 
of things toward that which is best, the growing concern for the general 
welfare, the increasing insistence in the interest of that general welfare 
that in our country (in which by the law every man is free and every 
freeman a voter, being thus just as much of a political unit as every 
other man and no more), the law shall prevail, fair play shall be the 
rule, and every man who pitches his tent beneath the broad shield of 
the Constitution, shall have and shall enjoy the unquestioned, untram- 
meled right to become a good citizen, to make the most of himself, and 
thus contribute his full share toward the well-being of his neighbors 
and of the whole community. 

If now, reasoned Mr. Douglass, we duly consider these two forces, the 
one within the negro himself urging him to go up higher, and the 
other in the steady march of events, the unerring trend of things toward 


development, progress, betterment, inviting him and sweeping him in 
the press forward, we can hardly fail to see ground for reasonable hope 
and belief that the day must surely come when there will be no denial 
of rights or of public privileges to any class of men, and no negro 
question in our land. 

Frederick Douglass is no more with us in the flesh. We shall see his 
noble form no more among us. We shall miss his dignified and welcome 
presence, his wise counsels, his thoughtful candor in advice, his manly 
voice pleading in behalf of honorable fair play before the nation, before 
the tribunal of enlightened Christian civilization. He was our sound 
and loyal frieud : he was our beloved father: he was our uncrowned 
king. We cannot but mourn for him. 

The name and fame, the life and work of Frederick Douglass are ours 
forever, and we will hold up the great works that he wrought for truth 
and justice to all men, the noble words that he .spoke for right and 
freedom, the example of the unblemished, devoted and useful life that 
he led, — we will hold all these up as our proud inheritance from him 
to mankind, to our children and our children's children, as long as 
high character and honor and virtuous achievements are held in esteem 

An Extract from a Discourse by Rev. Dr. Louis 

Albert Banks, Delivered in the Hanson 

Place M. E. Church, Brooklyn, N. Y, 

February 25, 1S95. 

If I were asked what person in the present century had fought against 
the greatest odds and won the struggle of life at most points, I should 
answer, Frederick Douglass. 

The story of his life is the most romantic in all modern times. No 
man began so low and climbed so high as he. 

Frederick Douglass had many elements of greatness, and one of the 
greatest was his power of grim perseverance. He had the power to 
patiently, ploddingly whip himself through any hard work that must 
be done. It was once said by an opponent of Sir Walter Raleigh : 
"He can toil terribly !" Frederick Douglass had, in a remarkable 
degree, that "terrible," irresistible power of the toiler. 

Frederick Douglass had great ideals. He never compromised with 
himself for anything less than the best that was possible. Nothing 
short of being the best type of man and the most noble orator that it 
was possible to produce out of his circumstances and gifts, satisfied 
him for a moment. 

These lofty ideals alone made it possible for him to achieve the great 
triimiphs of his life. For, after all, the greatest triumphs in Douglass' 


life are not to be found in his glorious success as an orator, or as a 
political leader, but in the splendid moral fibre of the man, that enabled 
him to live a life which is not only a precious heritage to his own race, 
but an inspiration to men of all races, throughout all times. 

Think of the fearful odds he had to fight against in order to produce 
such a moral character! Milton says: "It is a long way out of hell up 
to light!" Think of the hell of lust and iniquity into which he 
was born! He was born in the midst of that enforced tendency to every 
vicious passion and unholy appetite, that springs from the world, the 
flesh and the devil. But, in spite of it all, he developed a strong, 
robust manhood which he kept clean and spotless throughout half a 
century lived in the public gaze. Frederick Douglass did for his race 
no greater thing than that. 

Douglass' oratory gained much of its power from the superb manhood 
that was behind it. I once heard him in Music Hall, Boston, deliver 
his great address on John Brown. His discussion of the law of retri- 
bution was the strongest that I have ever heard. As he stood there on 
the platform, giving us the evolution of John Brown, he filled one's 
ideal of the old Hebrew prophets. He reached the climax in these 
words: "The cry that went up from the startled and terrified inhabi- 
tants of Harper's Ferry, was but the echo of that other cry which began 
two hundred years before, when the man-hunter first set foot in the 
quiet African villages. The raid on Harper's Ferrj- was contracted for 
when the first slaveship landed on these shores. ' ' 

"The question has been often asked," said Douglass, in that great 
address, "Why Virginia did not, with a grand magnanimity, spare 
John Brown? But they had a thing down there which could not stand 
the life of John Brown. Her own Patrick Henry loved liberty for the 
rich man and the great. John Brown loved liberty for the poor and the 
lowly. It was not white man dying for white man ; it was white man 
dying for black man!" 

Here the orator's voice and presence became electric. Nothing could 
surpass the majesty of his presence as he thrilled our souls with the 
splendid utterance that followed: "He came down from the heaven of 
New England liberty to the hell of African slavery! He gave his life 
as the best gift he could lay on the altar of human liberty!" 

Frederick Douglass was a broad-spirited public man. He was too large 
a man for any bitter, bigoted partisanship. His declaration about some 
public affair, not long ago, in a letter which has been printed, in which 
he says: "I am a Republican, butnot'a Republican right or wrong ; ' " 
shows the breadth of the man. And it is well to notice in connection 
with this fact, the marvelous growth in Frederick Douglass' time, 
in toleration of freedom of principles and speech, which is illustrated 
in the House of Representatives of the North Carolina Legislature 
adjourning in honor of Frederick Douglass, on receiving the news of 
his death. 


It was very appropriate that the last appearance of Mr. Douglass in 
public should have been on the platform of the Woman's Council, on 
the very day of his death. To no other cause had he given more sincere 
devotion than to the equality of rights and privileges between men and 
women. I heard him one time in an address on woman suffrage, in 
reply to the suggestion that the pool of politics was too dirty to allow 
women to come into it, ask with stinging sarcasm, "Who made the 
pool dirty? No woman has been playing in it!" 

A career like that of Frederick Douglass is at once an honor and an 
inspiration to humanity. 

In such a man the kinship of all races is demonstrated. All men 
instinctively agree, in the presence of such a personality, with John 
Boyle O'Reilly's song: 

The trapper died— our hero — and we grieved; 
In every heart in camp the sorrow stirred. 
"His soul was red!" the Indian cried, bereaved; 
"A white man he;" the grim old Yankee's word. 

So, brief and strong, each mourner gave his best; 

How kind he was, how brave, how keen to track; 
And as we laid him by the pines to rest, 

A negro spoke, with tears: "His heart was black!" 

Address of Professor W. H. H. Hart, of the Law 

Department of Howard University, 

Washington, D. C, 

Before the Students of that Department, at a Memorial 
Meeting in honor of Frederick Douglass, held by them on 
the Evening of March 19, 1895, and presided over by Pro- 
fessor B. F. Leighton, Dean of that Department. 

It is impossible, on this occasion and at this time, not to be deeply 
impressed with the brevity and uncertainty of life, and of the inexorable 
end of all the living ; — all, all, must enter, at last, the narrow house that 
awaits the children of men. 

The human heart, conscious of its place in nature, pulsating with life 
and thought and treading the rounds of the hours and of the seasons, is 
seldom reconciled to the inevitable and desolate fate of silence, death 
and decay. This feeling is intensified when a strong man is stricken 
and falls in his place, and, as we look upon his inanimate dust, or 
behold the solemn cortege which conveys it to its last resting-place, the 
great questions of man's origin, man's life, and man's destiny, instinc- 
tively spring up within our minds transfixed by the Great Mystery. 


Finding no stability in his own nature and constitution, man seeks 
to preserve his ephemeral life from utter annihilation, by making it a 
part of the enduring universe which lies beyond change and illusion, 
self and sense, appetite and passion, and inheres in truth and virtue, 
and justice and love. Virtue is the summum bonum; "the essence of 
the highest manhood ; the only source of a noble life. " " It is goodness 
that is victorious through trial, through temptations and conflict." 

An eminent Chinese, standing beneath the tender dreamy blue 
of the Oriental sky that seems to lift the mind up and out into infinity, 
was moved to exclaim — "What thought is so high as it is? What mind 
is so wide?" A similar feeling possesses me as I approach the subject 
of this evening's memorial and endeavor to set before you, in the brief 
period allotted me, some reflections upon the life and character of the 
great dead in whose memory we are met. 

In the contemplation of the rich, varied and heroic life which has 
come to its period, and which we are entitled to regard, for the greater 
part, as our priceless possession, I am at a loss to determine what por- 
tion of it can be most profitably celebrated on this occasion. The 
beginning of it was so humble, the power of it so marvelous, and the 
fruits of it so extensive and substautial, and the end of it so noble and 
luminous, that one knows not, for very profusion, where to make a 
beginning, and, having begun, where to make an ending.' The grand, 
useful and practical career of Frederick Douglass is full of interest and 
instruction to all men, but to the young men of our caste and condition 
passing, in a measure, through the fiery furnace of his own experience, 
it is a priceless heritage, both as an ideal of excellence and as a proof of 
capacity, — the value of which no words can estimate, no time diminish 
and no tongue disparage. One lesson of surpassing and permanent 
importance, which the young may find clearl}' and completely exem- 
plified in the life of Frederick Douglass, was, the virtue of the man. 
By virtue I mean "moral goodness; the practice of moral duties and 
the conformity of life and conversation to the moral law. " 

Hutcheson, the founder in modern times, of the doctrine of a "moral 
sense," resolved all virtue into benevolence or the pursuit of the happi- 
ness of others. This goodness which we call virtue, is a twin sister of 
wisdom, and springs from a protecting and preserving benevolence, 
whose very esssence and mission is to destroy and extirpate vice, 
oppression and disorder from the earth. Whatever connects itself with 
power for the destruction of liberty, of equality, of common rights and 
of common prosperity, is an offence which the virtuous man will 
denounce and oppose to the last limit of his life. His indignation at 
guilt will never be extinguished while he lives. 

The idea of Right, — moral obligation and moral right — held con- 
trolling place in the mind and motives of this great leader of men. To 
render to every man what is due him ; and that every man should do 
unto others as he would have otliers do unto him, constituted the law 


and shaped the course of his life. These principles comprehending the 
whole moral law, were, to him, self-evident truth. His personal fidelity 
to them rendered him just, honest and benevolent, and his genius and 
courage in proclaiming and urging them upon society, rendered him 
powerful, beloved and famous. 

No greater illustration of the sure and saving value of moral integrity 
can be presented, than is exemplified in this character and life of Fred- 
erick Douglass, — whether regard be had to mere personal and private 
domestic relations, or to the wide field of public and political affairs in 
which he was a conspicuous figure holding important and responsible 
public trusts always administered with distinguished ability and 
scrupulous honesty. Wherever the course of his romantic and eventful 
life led him, his fair fame was untarnished, his honor unblemished; 
faithful and true in ail things, — no trust betrayed ; no worthy confidence 

The moral worth is, after all, the real worth of the man. Mere 
brilliancy of intellect is a vain will-o'-the-wisp, without solid moral 
culture to ballast and direct it. What availed the splendid intellectual 
endowments of Byron and Poe, in comparison with the sweet and 
inspiring poetic graces, the saving moral excellence of Whittier and 
Lowell? Locke said "Instruction is but the least part of education. 
What a father should desire for his son is virtue before every-thing else. 
Knowledge occupies but the second place, ' ' and Aristotle declared that 
"the end of study is not knowledge, but conduct." The mind of 
Frederick Douglass seemed, of its own natural vigor, to embrace and 
embody these eternal principles of morality as attributes of his own 
soul, and thus his lofty character was the pride and delight of those 
who loved him, — furnishing at once a most powerful argument for the 
friends of freedom, and a most damaging stultification to the advocates 
of slavery. Its influence in the great contest which brought freedom 
to the slaves and removed the greatest reproach from our country, was 
hardly less potent than his wonderful eloquence; indeed, it gave 
acceptance and weight and power to that eloquence. One of the rich 
rewards of a virtuous life is that the individual himself finds in it that 
personal and permanent dignity which ennobles and sweetens life, for, 
accompanying the virtuous mind are a whole troop of those silent per- 
fections of the soul, not discoverable to the knowledge of others ; purity 
of thought, as Addison has it, which refines and sanctifies the virtuous 
man ; secret rest and contentedness of mind which brings perfect 
enjoyment of each moment of life; the inward pleasure derived from 
doing good; that delight and satisfaction which he takes in the happi- 
ness and prosperity of others. Senaca says "that a great and a right 
mind is a kind of divinity lodged in the flesh, and may be the blessing 
of a slave as well as of a prince. It came from Heaven and to Heaven 
it must return; and it is a kind of heavenly felicity which a pure and 
virtuous mind enjoys in some degree, even upon earth." There are 



moral altitudes which, accordingly as the miud and spirit of man 
attain them, bring his conscience immutable rest, and to his mind, a 
knowledge approaching infinite vision. From these heights the great 
souls of the centuries look down upon us and beckon us onward and 
upward to the serene higher life. These are the indicia of a virtuous 
man, and the embodiment of these principles in the character of 
Frederick Douglass, rendered his life a blessing to the world while it 
lasted, and a priceless benefaction after it ended. 

Moral excellence is so essential in its nature to the welfare of human- 
ity, that the results of its culture or of the neglect of it, are almost as 
apparent in the case of nations as in that of individuals. A more or 
less correct apprehension of this truth will explain the tremendous 
force and influence exerted by Frederick Douglass upon the age in 
which he lived. . . . The doctrine of the universal brotherhood 
of man, applied to States and enforced by law, needed to be exalted and 
taught with a consuming zeal and enthusiasm, as men teach religion 
and science. A great leader, — a unifier, — the lightning without which 
the fuel never would have burned, — was needed to become the indispen- 
sable saviour of his epoch." Where was such a one to be found? 
Every country has its so-called great men who move along a well- 
defined line of promotion from stage to stage of public service, 
appointed by public favor until the summit is reached and the career 
rounded. Their success, their pride, their power, prestige and applause 
are well understood, and result from familiar and common causes. 
But the prophet out of the wilderness, with his inspired message on 
his lips and his staff in his hand, whence comes he? To what geStlftplAAul 
does he belong? From what house does he spring? History answers Q 
that these questions are ^important ; that a Carian was the mother of 
Themistocles ; a Scythian, of Demosthenes; a Thracian, of Iphicrates 
and Timotheus; that Galileo and Erasmus knew not their fathers, and 
that slave mothers, the ' ' rejected and despised, ' ' gave the world Her- 
cules, Theseus, Achilles and Romulus. Science unfolds to those who 
seek her deeper meaning, the profound truth that man, in his ensemble 
of character and power, is not made but self-fashioned to escape suffer- 
ing and death. Under the pressure of pain we are chiseled and 
shaped; and, so long as pain endures, must continue self-change, sub- 
limation of character and self-development of soul and intellect ; while, 
for every exigency threatening human welfare, some hero, a Garibaldi, 
— a Toussaint L'Ouverture, — a Frederick Douglass, — a man equal to the 
stress of the hour, will at the supreme moment, step forth to serve and 
save his kind. Under travail and deprivation the hero will be disci- 
plined and developed for the task which, in providence, awaits him. 
So Frederick Douglass was shaped and chiseled by what he suffered 
and by what he witnessed others suffer in slavery, and so he was devel- 
oped and disciplined by this hard but effective experience, to portray 
the agonies of the victims of that system "red in tooth and claw with 


ravin," and the unutterable and brutal shame of those who maintained 
and administered it. The world heard the pitiful story, and then 
began that wonderful crusade which finally transformed our Republic 
from a hunting ground for slave-catchers, into a government of free- 
men, without a slave within its borders. But what a crusade, and 
what a leader! While apologists excused the crime, and incompetent 
statesmen faltered before it, and compromised with it, this incompara- 
ble champion of human rights attacked and denounced it with the 
sagacity of Ulysses, the courage of Achilles and the voice of Nestor, 
until, throughout the length and breadth of these United States, — from 
sea to sea, and across the seas, — his consuming eloquence awoke to battle 
the slumbering conscience of the good people of the North and West. 

The simple facts of the great anti-slavery crusade of which Frederick 
Douglass was the central and colossal figure, and which culminated in 
the civil war and the freedom and enfranchisement of the former 
slaves, surpass and dwarf any and every single achievement of moral 
and political reformation recorded in human history. The institution 
which he attacked had its foundations deep down in the racial feelings 
and selfish instincts and national habits and examples of the people of 
whom he formed a part. Slavery was a feature of the Greek and 
Roman social and political systems. It had a place in the scheme of 
government originating among the Germanic tribes; it formed a part 
of the English economy in the early centuries, as it was a part of the 
Russian to the very middle of the present century. Every stream of 
the Aryan race influence, contributed to the adoption and practice of 
it. Teutonic, Celtic, Scandinavian, Anglo-Saxon and Slavonic subdi- 
visions, either part or together, had approved the principle and pursued 
the practice of human chattel slavery. It lay at the foundation of the 
American social and political structure and entered into the national 
life and character, finding expression in the pleasures, refinements and 
luxuries of the dominant race, as well as in the development of its 
countless industries ; and modifying and moulding into conformity with 
it itself, the art, the literature, the manners, customs, conduct, ethics, 
philosophy and religion of the people, in almost every phase of public 
and private life. 

It was this system, sanctioned by history and custom, buttressed by 
law, and abounding in wealth for its supporters, that Frederick Doug- essayed to overturn and extirpate. In its transcending importance 
to humanity, — in its far-reaching influence upon society and upon the 
American nation, comprised in the United States, and upon Russia in 
Europe and Brazil in South America, the task assumed and accom- 
plished was immeasurably beyond anything ever attempted by mortal 
man ; whether he be ranked among the great warriors, the great states- 
men or the great orators of the world. Measured by beneficent results, 
there is not one of them who deserves to share the crown with this 
foremost man of them all. 


But his glorious career did not stop here. A nation's habits are like 
an individual's habits, — once fixed, they are difficult to be changed. 
The fact and the habits of slavery had warped alike the oppressor and 
his victim, from the noble and upright .stature of true manhood. 
Strike down as he might in a day the trunk of the poisonous tree, its 
roots would remain, and weary days must be spent in teaching the mas- 
ter that he was no more than a man, and the poor, broken and 
blighted slave, that he was as much as any man and no less, in right 
or in duty. To break and remove the gyves which had been for cen- 
turies bound about the mind and character and manhood of the slave; 
to free him from the influence, as he had freed him from the fact of 
slavery, was the task which fell to the later years of our great hero. 
And right nobly did he address himself to this great work. To the 
white people of the Republic he constantly said, "The freedmen are 
men! Give them an opportunity such as men may of right claim !" 
To the freedmen he as constantly said, " Go forward and be men ! " 
and wherever a political or social lie reared its head to impede the 
progress of the colored people to complete civil and social equality, 
he struck it down, that the weight and force of his grand and inspir- 
ing example might stand before us for emulation and imitation for- 
ever. He claimed no right for himself which he did not concede to all 
others, whether they were Jews, Celts, or Mongols, males or females, 
Europeans, Africans or Indians. He conceded no right to any man 
which he did not claim for himself and all other men, and in his fine 
scorn of whatever was mean and ignoble, he resented the base injustice 
which sought to deprive him of his proper and equitable share of the 
benefits of our institution-s, confessedly founded on the principle of 
the equality, in right and duty, of all the people. 

If equality be predicated of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit 
of happiness, it embraces the right of all persons to do, within the 
meaning of the terms, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," 
that which any person may do. 

It is not competent to select certain essential rights included in the 
phrase "the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," which 
are declared to be inalienable, and denominate them "social rights," 
and then proceed to strip and deprive certain citizens of them. This 
is a rank violation of the spirit of our institutions and of the spirit of 
the age. 

\\\ the relations which men have with each other in the way of 
maintaining themselves in society, are social. The fiction, in the 
philosophy of the law, of an original agreement by which mankind 
organized themselves into tribes or communities or states, is termed 
"the social compact." All the rights and privileges and relations 
growing out of the association of people into society or bodies politic, 
are social primarily, in their origin and nature, and civil or political 
or otherwise, secondarily. 


Our simple and noble republican institutions leave nothing to impli- 
cation on this head; they plainly declare the unqualified equality of all 
men in the matter of the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pur- 
suit of happiness; it is therefore contrary to right and reason for one 
class of the people to appropriate to itself the common benefits of our 
institutions. It ought to be without the power of any men or set of 
men to deprive any of their fellow citizens and equals in right and 
obligation, of a just participation in the equal benefits of our common 
society, because of any accidental differences either of race, color or 
previous condition of servitude. 

Whoever attempts to divide the common and essential rights of the 
people into so-called social, but really anti-social, civil and political 
divisions, and at the same time denies or abridges one class while pro- 
fessing to concede the others, will find that, in the practical adminis- 
tration of this rule of division, all the valued rights of citizenship and 
manhood and womanhood, will be abridged and withheld. This result 
will follow from whatever point in the entire body of equality of rights 
the division and discrimination is made. It matters not whether the 
dividing line be drawn through that portion of essential rights termed 
social, or that portion termed civil ; the integrity of all rights will be 
impaired. If men may, by law or custom, refuse to eat and drink with 
you in the public inn, or to ride with you in the public conveyance, or to 
learn with you in the public school, or to worship with you in the sacred 
temple ; they may refuse to bargain with you in the market, to toil with 
you .it the forge, in the field, or in any of the highways and byways 
of life; and, at last, they will by law refuse to make place for you in 
the courts of justice, the halls of legislation, and the circle embracing 
those administrative positions of power and dignity upon which liberty 
depends and through which alone it is assured. 

To denominate essential rights of citizens and freemen "social 
rights, ' ' and withhold them from a certain increment of the blameless 
citizenship of the Republic, on the ground of those rights being thus 
denominated, is to mislead the unwary and defeat justice with an 
adjective. There should be but one standard of excellence and accept- 
ance in the society of our Republic, and that should be a standard of 
character, and all pretensions of either a private or public nature that 
seek to fasten aristocratic and foreign doctrines of superiority of class 
inferiority, merely as such, upon our pure democracy of freedom and 
equality, should be rejected and abominated. Such unsocial and uure- 
publican doctrines and devices have never, wherever adopted or practiced, 
served any other than oppressive purposes. These destroy, not only the 
liberty of the people, but their moral and physical vitality also, and lead 
to national decline. They limit the field of individual development, and 
restrict the law of natural selection, and are therefore contrary to the 
very law of progress and evolution. That they are contrary to reason 
and nature is evidenced by the facts of history that those people who 


apply them most rigidly, suffer most severely. Of that almost divine 
race of Greeks whose monuments of art and literature remain at once 
the delight and despair of modem times, not one little community 
exists to-day. Of the order of Patricians, — increased from time to time 
by the elevation of outsiders to its rank and protected by rigid laws 
prohibiting intermarriage with plebeians, — not a single vestige remained 
in Rome at the time of Livy. Of the five hundred titles of nobility 
endowed and conferred upon his companions in arms by the "Con- 
queror," not five have been perpetuated in direct line to the present 
time. The decadence of India and Portugal is due to caste systems. 
The neurotic condition of the hordes of gypsies and the Jews grow out 
of the same causes. Nature will not tolerate such outrages upon her 

' ' Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret. ' ' 

Let us heed the admonition of reason, nature and history, upon the 
inevitable penalty attached to denial of justice and departure from 
natural law. Individual freedom in all the relations of life, limited 
only by such just laws as are devised and established alike for all citi- 
zens, will result in giving to the world such superb types of physical, 
mental and moral manhood as Frederick Douglass in himself proved 
and promised. That malicious and designing persons or are 
allowed to perpetuate error and injustice in this matter of social dis- 
criminations among men to the end that individuals or classes may 
enjoy unfair advantages or reap unjust profits, is an unspeakable 
calamity, and therefore, whoever strike at social discrimination 
the colored people of this country, renders to the whole country a most 
valuable service. Upon this last stronghold of slavery Frederick Doug- 
lass led the first assault and forged 

"A hoop of gold to bind our brothers in." 

and giving us an example whose light will be a perpetual illumination. 

I am admonished that I must conclude and give way to others, but I 
cannot refrain from dwelling somewhat upon the unswerving devotion 
of Frederick Douglass to the people from whose loins he sprung and 
upon his love for the land of his birth. Whatever touched them or it. 
— despite his individual sufferings and ostracism, — touched his soul and 
awakened its deepest interest. 

There was no withstanding the power of his eloquence which he cast 
like a "mantle of fire" upon those who would willingly perpetrate 
wrongs and outrages against the weak and defenceless; but there was 
no room in his great soul for personal malice. He hated injustice so 
bitterly that he could be unjust to none. The entire circle of influences 
exerted by him upon society and upon his country, was wholesome and 
charitable. The good word and the good deed were what he commended 


and comruanikd. Rancor and revenge found no tolerance from him ; 
but to secure just and effective laws, to establish and promote liberty, 
he would labor without rest and without reward. 

He knew that the three principles upon which our government is 
based; namely, that all men are naturally equal in rights; that people 
cannot be taxed without their consent ; and that they may delegate their 
power of self-government to representatives chosen by themselves; — 
faithfully and practically embraced in all our policies, constitutions, and 
statutes, both in the letter and spirit of the framing of them and of the 
administration of them would realize for this people and nation a 
beneficent and just government of ' ' Liberty under Law. ' ' Frederick 
Douglass knew the inestimable importance of each of these three essen- 
tial principles, both to the common and to the individual welfare, and 
he gave his voice and suffrage, without stint and without price, to make 
them of universal application and force. 

He knew that municipal law is not stable and self-executive, like 
natural law; that the common laws of the land are never finished and 
ended, but are always in process of becoming, — by flux and reflux, — 
taking form and substance from the varj'ing convictions, motives, 
genius, habits and customs of the people, as occasion and agitation 

He knew that the interests and prejudices of individuals and classes 
are being constantly pressed forward for enactment into law ; that this 
is unavoidable and grows out of the infirmity of human nature itself, 
so that it long ago became a general maxim that "eternal vigilance is 
the price of liberty. " He knew also that a people or a class of people 
which is indifferent to the blessings of liberty and will not value them 
and make exertions to retain them will not long possess them. 

Valuing freedom thus, Frederick Douglass fought his way, step by 
step, through the weary years, from the cabin of a slave, — the position 
of a mere thing — a chattel, — into the heart and body of the supreme law 
of the land, until now, the glorious amendments of freedom guarantee 
every right which he claimed. 

At what a cost that heritage was won ! The stripes that were borne, 
the agony that was endured, the treasure that was poured forth, the 
tears and the blood that was shed, in order that we might be free, — who 
shall make the numbering thereof? 

The Puritans owed us a pledge of freedom when Cri.spus Attucks 
baptized the Revolution with his blood, and the worthy sons and 
daughters of those same noble Puritans, have redeemed that pledge of 

The rare flower, the priceless jewel of this earth has been won for us, 
and we are in part in possession of this boon of freedom. Those who 
won it for us cannot preserve it to us. On ourselves alone will depend 
the preservation of our liberties and the transmission of them in their 
integrity to those who shall come after us. This imperative duty and 


the dangers accompanying it are very clearly revealed in considering 
how, in the first instance, liberty was lost and slavery established. 
Slavery was merely tolerated by the Constitution and in a very limited 
degree supported by law, but those who desired to make slavery a part 
of the national economy, persisted in their purpose of gradually devel- 
oping and perfecting the system until it became firmly established as a 
primal institution of the land, to check and destroy which, finally 
recjuired, for nearly a century, the greatest exertions of the best people 
of the whole country and the greatest civil war of all history. 

To secure to the slaves this freedom, Frederick Douglass labored and 
he lived to see that labor crowned with success in the guarantees of 
liberty thrust by the sword into the Constitution. 

This Constitution of the United States, through the vigor inhering 
in its thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth Amendments, strike to the 
ground, in its corrective force, any provision of State-Constitution or 
statute in direct conflict with the substance of these Amendments as 
interpreted and construed by the Supreme Court. 

But are the friends of Liberty to rest here? Can they safely leave 
attacks upon the principles of these Amendments unresisted and the 
disparagement of them unnoticed? Will the aggressive spirit which 
established and extended and defended slavery and which now, by 
every available means of force and fraud, openly and confessedly opposes 
and defeats the purposes and spirit of these Amendments of freedom, 
remain without result upon our liberties? Or will it not ultimately, 
in the practical operations of policy and the administration of the 
political, commercial, civil and social affairs of this nation, break 
down and override and render of no effect these constitutional safe- 
guards of liberty? 

Continued existence is not only a function, but also a warfare. An 
element or organism is assured of continuity, or perpetuity, or survival, 
only when, to the power to live, it adds the capacity and disposition 
to assure itself protection and defence. Action and reaction, attack 
and opposition, impact and endurance, must measurably equal each 
other if equilibrium is to be maintained. If action be met by inaction, 
attack by submission, impact by demolition, the equilibrium will be 
destroyed, whether the principles involved be civil, political, moral or 
social. The relations of men will be changed; the equality inhering in 
a condition of liberty will be lost; the strong will become stronger, and 
the weak weaker. Instead of men and citizens, we shall again find 
masters and slaves. If this agreement be brought about by common 
agreement, or by what amounts to the same thing, by common indiffer- 
ence — against the letter and spirit of the organic law of the land — in 
open defiance of constitutional provisions meant to prevent such 
happening, soon that organic law will be changed from the ideal it 
sought to enforce, to the actual situation it has to consider, and the 
potent and irresistible statute of custom. 

changed from the ideal it ■ . , ' 
it has to consider, and '^^S,.4/vW|lJi^VX.O 
with its s i i nplifieBtio tr'of V 


agpe««fM>tjM*^ consent and authority, will emasculate and abrogate the 
Constitutional Amendments which Frederick Douglass, more than any 
other one agency in the world, made possible and real. To the lessons 
of virtue, truth and justice, of faith, hope and love, of temperance, 
patience and patriotism exemplified in the wonderful life and character 
of Frederick Douglass, must be added the wisdom which everj'where 
distinguished his career. 

Frederick Douglass was not ouly a good man and a great man — a 
reformer and a patriot whose genius at once both discerned the path of 
duty and liberty, and by sweet persuasion brought the feet of men to 
tread and abide therein ; but, to the student, he was in himself a most 
complete and striking illustration of an educated man. 

He was an educated man who had learned how to successfully use his 
own faculties so as to make the hand cunning and skillful in work, the 
tongue instructive and persuasive in speech and the pen attractive and 
effective in composition. 

Frederick Douglass was wise without the discipline of the schools. 
He reached the goal of all mental culture without coursing the curri- 
culum of the college. He was a close observer of men and things, and 
■was an earnest and honest student of the open book of nature, whose 
study expands, enriches and exalts the mind and gives at last true 
learning, strong reason and sound sense. There he sought the infinite 
and eternal truth and when, in more or less full measure, he appre- 
hended it, he felt the thrill of Kepler's exclamation, "O, Almighty 
God! I think Thy thoughts after Thee!" 

The favors of Divine Providence are ours in profusion ; brought into 
our possession through the lives and labors of the devoted disciples of 
truth of every age and clime. Amid all these immortal benefactors of 
humanity, the majestic and heroic fi.gxire, the lofty genius, the mar- 
velous power and the blameless life of Frederick Douglass will hold a 
foremost place while mankind shall cherish the love for virtue, justice 
and libertv. 


An Extract from the Address of Professor H. T. 

Kealing, President of Paul Quinn College, 

Waco, Texas, 

Delivered at the Memorial Meeting held at Waco, Texas, 
March 27, 1895. 

Standards of greatness vary as much as standards of 

beauty, value or measure. 

There is the military standard — the standard of blood — which follows 
with breathless interest and approval Alexander from Macedonia to 
India, Hannibal from Spain to Rome, Caesar from Gaul to Egypt, 
Napoleon from Toulon to Waterloo. But the standard of blood is a 
savage standard, and civilization, with all its arts, has failed to veneer 
its horrors more than when a thousand years ago the brawny Saxon 
drank wassail from the undried skulls of vanquished foes. 

There is the diplomatic standard — the standard of cunning — which 
takes by deception what war takes by force. Here are written high the 
names of Metternich, Richelieu, Tallyrand and Palmerston. The stan- 
dard of cunning is but a refinement of the standard of blood. The one 
is a war of wits ; the other a war of weapons ; and both for selfish gain. 

There is a third — the patriotic standard; higher because broader and 
beneficent, which enthrones fidelity to one's own country, without ill 
will to that of another. 

But there is a fourth standard of greatness, to my mind, the truest 
of all. It may be called the Cosmopolitan. 

John Wesley hinted at it when he said, "The world is my parish." 
Cosmopolitan greatness embraces the world in its sympathies and dare 
rebuke one's country for one's kind. It has always courage to dare, 
do and die for a principle; has wide knowledge of history and deep 
discernment of its philosophy; it has courage to strike, patience to 
bear, skill to confound and power to prevail. 

Mr. Douglass had all this and, added to it, the gift of eloquence. 
His endowments of intellect, will, purpose and of phj'sique were all of 
the first class. But great qualities alone do not make great men. They 
must be put to great uses. Just as the law takes no note of desires and 
intentions until they become overt in action so the court of the world 
registers no judgment against an unborn impulse or a sleeping power. 
Nor even when great deeds are wrought can the real degree of greatness 
be determined till the degree of resistance be known. Some men are 
greater in having reached mediocrity, than others in having gained 
distinction. Winkelried, breaking through the spears of the phalanx 
and falling dead, was greater than his general, who passed through the 
opening thus made, to victory. 


Mr. Douglass meets this test grandly. His slogan was, "One with 
God is a majority. ' ' This saying was his own and has already taken its 
place among the great epigrams of the world. 

The lives of Gladstone and Douglass form a wonderful parallel. Both 
devoted their lives to the battles of others. Both brought matchless 
eloquence and resource to their aid. Both were of iron will. Both 
were high minded and pure souled. Both were gentle in repose and 
leonine in action. Gladstone is white and was born to freedom. 
Douglass was dark in hue and born to chains. Gladstone shares with 
those around him in the pride and advantage of being an Englishman. 
Douglass was born an alien, isolated and despised. Gladstone found 
the doors of Oxford open and inviting him to the pursuit of classic 
lore ; Douglass found, not only every school but every book closed 
against him, on pain of the lash. Gladstone had at his back a cultured 
titled constituency ; Douglass fought to create a constituency. Glad- 
stone entered the arena equipped for the struggle; Douglass armed 
himself from the quiver of his energy as he fought. Gladstone con- 
tended for political liberty, Douglass for liberty of body. Gladstone 
contended with personal friends; Douglass with personal enemies. 

Gladstone may have sometimes suffered from the of heated 
debate, but Douglass was always sure of premeditated insult. Intel- 
lectually Gladstone had a fuller quiver, but Douglass a stronger bow 
arm. Gladstone's logic may have been weightier, but Douglass' speech 
was more overwhelming. 

Thus these two men, the one already accorded his place in the temple 
of fame, though living; the other denied it by many, even after death, 
are seen to be much alike in power and purpose, with the difference 
that the American conquered more difficulties to become a man, than 
the Englishman did to become a statesman. 

Can I ever forget the summer of 1893, when the great men of many 
nations assembled on the World's Fair grounds to receive the 
captain who had just arrived with the three Columbian vessels? Seated 
upon the platform were Secretary Herbert, Senator Sherman, Mayor 
Harrison, representatives of the French, of the English and a number 
of others, among whom was Mr. Douglass. The Spaniard spoke first, 
painting the glory of Spain; then the Frenchman, the Englishman 
and the American, each in turn responded, eloquently lauding their 
several countries. The program was then finished, but there arose a 
loud cry of "Douglass, Douglass!" Mr. Douglass shrank back and 
waved his hand deprecatingly, saying, "Friends, I am not on the pro- 
gram." But the cry arose more insistently, "Douglass, Douglass!" 
till he stepped to the front. A great silence fell upon the throng as he 
stood there, straight, tall and broad-shouldered, with his halo of snow- 
white hair .gently waving in the breeze, and said, "It is a great thing 
to be a Spaniard and be heir to Spain's splendid history; it is a great 
thing to be a Frenchman, with all the honor of his country's past upon 


one; it is a great thing to be an Englishman, and feel the flow of that 
unconquered blood ; it is greater still to be an American, of the 
youngest, fairest, strongest child of time ; but greater, grander, incom- 
parably more glorious than all, it is, to be a man!" That was all, but 
how that crowd surged, yelled and tossed its hats in the air. It was a 
sublime sentence, grandly uttered and to an audience from all over the 
world. And it was the only sentiment of that day that was broad 
enough to take in the world. 

Eulogy on the Life and Services of Honorable 

Frederick Douglass, by Professor George 

W. Cook, of Howard University. 

Delivered at Lincoln Memorial Congregational Cluircli, 
Washington, D. C, Sunday evening, April 28, 1895. 

In studying Mr. Douglass, we may be led into extreme enthusiasm. 
If we are so led the subject is our apology. This is the time for eulogy 
—this is the time for presenting those characteristics which will be of 
benefit to us and lead to a higher plane of living. 

As we consider what might be the theme for our remarks, so many 
virtues of this man crowd upon our minds that we are brought to pause 
where we shall first begin. 

Let us then trace some lines of his character and come to some lesson 
that surely must be there. 

What use are we to make of such a character as Frederick Douglass? 
Let his life be a lesson to all our children. Let his virtues be rehearsed 
to future generations. Let not one of us forget to hold him up as a 
pattern for young men in any station of life. Paul on Mars Hill is 
not a more striking and valuable lesson than Mr. Douglass upon the plat- 
form. They, both apostles, preached the doctrines of their Master. 
The Pauline echoes have been intensified by the Douglass reverbera- 
tion ; the fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man, was their theme. 
Contemplate the Douglass character as you will, it is one of moral sub- 
limity. His daring grand, his courage awe-striking. He stood 
"where Moses stood and viewed the landscape o'er." Ever conscious 
of his moral defence he could not be affrighted from his post. Xeno- 
phon in his Memorabilia says of Socrates: "Of those who knew what 
sort of a man Socrates was, such as were lovers of virtue continue to 
regret him above all other men even to the present day as having con- 
tributed in the highest degree to their advancement in goodness. To 
me being such as I have described him, so pious that he did nothing 
without the sanction of the gods; so just that he wronged no man in 


the most trifling affairs, but was of service in the most important mat- 
ters, to those who enjoyed his society; so temperate that he never 
preferred pleasure to virtue; so wise that he never erred in distin- 
guishing between better and worse, needing no counsel from others, 
but being sufficient in himself to discriminate between them; so able 
to explain and settle questions by argument; so capable of discerning 
the characters of others, of confuting those who were in error, and of 
exhorting them to virtue and honor — to me, I say, he seemed to be 
such as the best and happiest of men would be. But if anyone disap- 
proves of my opinion, let him compare the conduct of others with that 
of Socrates and determine accordingh. " 

Is there a line, a word or a sentiment in this extract not having 
positive fitness in its application to Mr. Douglass? Is he not regretted 
by those who love virtue? Have not his words and example contri- 
buted to the advancement of good in others? What has Douglass done 
without the sanction of the moral code? In that, he is pious like 
Socrates. He wronged no man in trivial matters and was of service in 
important affairs. So temperate that he always discountenanced 
pleasure not virtuous. He distinguished between better and worse. 
No matter how dark the encircling gloom, wisdom's kindly light 
always led him, thereby making him sufficient in himself to discrimi- 
nate between them. Able indeed in explanation and argument; pene- 
trating in his discernment of the characters of others; capable to 
confute the wrong and exhort to the right. To me, I say, he seemed as 
the best and happiest of men would be. If any man disapproves of 
my opinion let him compare the conduct of Douglass with that of 
others and decide for himself. 

Where in nature must we turn for a proper s)-mbol of Frederick 
Douglass? If we seek it in the forest and view the giants there, as we 
read their lessons we must talk for them to give expression to their 
silent language. If we scan history, we fail to find the counterpart ; 
for as lofty as may be the reality before us it does not fit the con- 
ception of those who have known Mr. Douglass. 

"Howl, fir-tree, for the cedar of Lebanon is fallen." 

The cedar of Lebanon was held by the ancient Hebrew prophets and 
sacred writers as of great importance for its adaptability as a s3^ml)oI 
for manly virtues and its fitness for figurative application. Its longevity 
is great; it towers skyward till its branches seem to kiss the blue vault. 
It stands for power and teaches prosperity. Erectness is in its char- 
acter. It is a type of rectitude, its bole being as straight as righteous- 
ness itself. One or two of its strong arms rise higher than the rest, 
while all present a protecting shade and covering aspect, with foliage 
ever green as the eternal truths it typifies. Its roots are deeply im- 
bedded in earth's mold. 

Striking indeed is the poetic similarity between the cedar of Lebanon 
and Frederick Douglass. Of a towering stature — blessed with a long life 


— a cedar in giant physical cast; emblematic of prosperity in his intel- 
lectual and material growth, with integrity as pronounced as the shaft 
of the cedar; his oratory and sage insight standing as counterparts of 
the sky-piercing branches of the cedar tree. The foundation on which 
Douglass built his enduring character is like the deep root embedded 
in nature's gifts — drawing from her rich stores their sustenance, and 
lending influences which are ever fresh as the rich and green foliage. 

The Douglass education is not the so-called of the school, emanating 
from the teacher. There is an education which includes in its elements 
all the forces of nature, all the forms of social environments, all the 
chance incidents of observatiou and all the imprints from whatever 
source influencing that pliable composition called the soul of man. 
Unlettered, with neither primary course or classics, Douglass was, by 
his intellect and oratory, able, like the fisherman of old, to become a 
profound thinker and to perplex the doctors. He sounded the depths 
of the human heart and penned immortal works. His analysis and 
insight into character were accurate. Born great, experience was his 
school and God the director. In that school no lifeless words fall from 
the Master's lips, no listless souls attend. Inspiration is the motive, 
and justice promulgated to man the curriculum. "Some men are born 
great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 
them." Mr. Douglass was of the first class, and he achieved distinc- 
tion through that gift of nature. Instead of needing stimulus from 
others, he stimulated others. Injustice done to man nerved him for 
the conflict. It was so when he incited the other slaves to join the 
plot to run away, and that spirit of leadership dominated his whole 

Can we commune with our own thoughts and say that the validity 
of our own knowledge of Mr. Douglass is unquestioned? Do we know 
him? Is that mighty instrument of God more scrutable to us than the 
genius of Shakespeare and the soul of Milton to their contemporaries? 
I believe not. Time must alone reveal to man what the treasure is. 
It is but the fate of man to be honored no more in his own time than 
in his own country. Luther is known better to-day than in the fif- 
teenth century. Milton is admired more now than when he penned his 
immortal lines "to the height of the great argument, asserted eternal 
Providence and justified the waj-s of God to man. " The debt of grati- 
tude being greater than the ordinary, is no more understood in great 
men's day than is the magnitude of his work. 

Jesus Christ is honored more to-day than when Pilate found no fault 
with him, even when a few believed that He spake as never man spake 
before. The natural attitude of men truly great is interesting at first 
view, then enchanting to study. They seem from their birth to force 
antagonism. They are living challenges for conflict against all that is 
vicious and strong and they are conspicuous examples as objects of ad- 
verse attacks from social surroundings. Often they come into this 


world tasting the pangs of hunger, wearing the mantle of poverty, and 
denied social advantages — all of which seem only to intensify their 
natures to endeavor and make invincible their careers. With them every 
rebuff brings forth a new power and a greater display of patience. 
Every opposing obstacle displays heretofore hidden ability which leaping 
higher clears away every bar to their progress. Great characters are of 
more value for the future than the present. Douglass was maligned, so 
was Christ. The flight into Egypt attests a principle. Mohammed 
must needs seek safety in Medina. Luther found an asylum in Wart- 
burg. It requires the development of ages to fit the hand and mind to 
analyze a truly great man. He is always far in advance of his times. 
Ordinary experiences give no instructions as to solving the thoughts of 
sages. It is easier to tell who are great than to tell what is greatness. 
It is less difficult to know the thing than to tell what the thing is. 
Great men are not as frequent as was supposed by a recent Methodist 
conference. Of the Douglass mold there are but a quartette in Ameri- 
can history. 

Of the Douglass personal presence nothing can be said to enlighten 
the American mind. To view it is to have emotions and intellectual 
experiences combined. "What apiece of work was this man. How 
noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, in form and moving, how- 
expressive and admirable. ' ' To-day there are men who have hung as 
transfixed by his presence and eloquence, who cannot fathom the spell 
nor express the emotion. To the day of his death his appearance at 
any place was as pronounced and irresistible an event as the presence 
of the mighty Lear of Shakespeare. At once the grand central figure; 
at once the magic presence, with such kingly mien to enrich the scene. 

That snow-capped brow seated aloft upon an eminence of four-score 
years, Jove-like with its verbal thunders, carried with it the halo of the 
sage, a paragon among men, a conception from God. God made a gift to 
man in the Douglass person. Born for no meaner purpose than would 
challenge the gratitude of the world and make for itself a monument 
in the hearts of an appreciative race. 

By the mandate of an inscrutable Providence we are ushered into this 
world. We play our parts, and are taken into the my.steries of the 
great unknown. A little while here and all is gone — for a time the 
prattle of infancy — then the joyousness and freshness of childhood — 
the gayer hours of youth — the cares of manhood — the disappointments 
and aftermath of age — then a few more sorrows and a few more joys, 
and a few more tears and a few more smiles and all is over — our parts 
are performed and all is past. 

Various indeed are those parts, some roles are more pronounced — 
some more prominent — some more creditable — some more reprehensible 
than others ; but all to some purpose, all to some effect. Fortunate is the 
man whose imprints are of good to others — unfortunate indeed is he 
who sees the light of day, journeys through from early dawn to mid-day 

276 7iV MEMORIAM. 

glare, glides into the twilight of waning manhood, and then falls 
to sleep in the great hereafter without paying the debt of his being by 
some good done — some profit brought to the aggregate of human 

It is said that "man's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands 
mourn." The opposite is equally true, that man's humanity makes 
countless thousands glad. None deserve more the laurel wreath than 
he who wins it through his sympathies for the human race. The 
broader the circle of those sympathies the brighter should shine the 
crown of reward. Judged by the most severe standard Mr. Douglass, 
because of the catholicity of his sympathies, has now and will ever wear 
a victor's adornment, undimmea by the dust of ages, and unharmed by 
the ravages of time. Built as is his personality upon a pedestal 
whose base is eternal principles of justice and fraternity, whose every 
composing stone a setting from the inexhaustible quarry of God's 
treasure house, one name is assured as a light of history to inspire the 
weak and goad the lagging on to action. The entire category of higher 
principles, every benevolent desire, every sentiment and emotion domi- 
nating the human breast for man's welfare were expounded, defended, 
encouraged and exalted in his life and hurled with effectiveness 
their opposites. Name the cause calling for strong arms to defend it, 
words to encourage it, money to further it, that did not get its defence, 
its encouragement, and its financial aid from him. The Irish 
demanded his attention. The suffering of the serfs of Russia engaged 
his favorable consideration. The negro problem, both here and in 
Africa, drew forth the Douglass powers — none such were ever equaled 
before — injustice to women elicited his endeavors. He was ever ready 
to stand forth in his personality as an impress, to his voice to per- 
suade or dissuade, his means to further the elevation of woman as the 
sure path to substantial human progress. 

The Douglass oratory is unique. Born of nature; rugged at times, at 
others melodious ; soft and pleasing at others ; suited to any purpose 
desired. His voice possessed a rich diversity of intonations, running 
the gamut for every shade of sentiment, every form of desire, every 
grade of passion, every plane of pathos; a voice "that can swell the 
soul to rage or kindle soft desire;" can melt the hardened criminal to 
tears and make furious the gentlest woman. Mr. Douglass had a capa- 
bility for every pitch of nature from wit and humor to sublime elo- 
quence, and for every adornment of art. What he said of Garrison 
may be said of him: "Mighty in words, mighty in truth, mighty in 
their simple earnestness." "His words," as Melancthon said of 
IvUther, "born not on his lips, but in his soul." 

Time has proved Mr. Douglass a man of prophetic vision. In truth, 
uo man is great without the touch of the inspiration of prophecy. 
The wisdom that makes a man great is the power to see coming events 
— that power which penetrates with mystical lore and gives reasonable 


assurance of a triumphant cause. Wise men take present conditions; 
decide for the future, not upon superficial grounds, but take the measure 
not oidy of the probable but of the inevitable. No matter how dark 
the way to the goal — ' ' sometimes the shadows how deep, ' ' yet they 
never halt, seldom stumble and always follow a guide, though leading 
through mires and bogs of opposition, even unto martyrdom ; yet with 
a firm and abiding faith in the sure success of a course selected on 
principle. Such a sage was Mr. Douglass. Did he not meet the most 
pronounced opposition? Did he not suffer the most positive outrages? 
Did he not risk his life aud receive bodily harm for a cause great to 

He might have escaped the tunuoil and horrors of the day by 
remaining a fugitive, yet he accepted it all for principle's sake, 
which sustained his personal courage aud placed him on a height with 
no cloud about him but the nebulae of the acclamation of a thankful 
people. What but a prophetic -soul could mount to such sublime 
heights with such anchors on his wings? 

Let us venture to make a reasonable prediction. WHien the questions 
of this day cease to be agitated — whe.i the historian shall have fought 
the battles incident to preserving the annals and biographies — when to 
know of Lincoln will be through the printed page— when Emancipa- 
tion will be only a theme for scholarly disquisition, and Recon.struc- 
tion a problem to be viewed not by everyday experiences — when the 
nmse of history shall have enshrined her heroes and set upon the 
shelves the urns within which are written the history of the men of 
our day — then the histrionic art will deal with Frederick Douglass as a 
colossal character and the playwright make his fame by exercising his 
genius on a dramatic personation of him. 

If the historian be no harsher than the truth demands, and the facts 
are prominent, that play will be easier to write than to set wheu 
written. To teach the lesson of history from the life of Mv. Douglass 
will require an acre for a stage, a multitude for the company, a nation's 
interests as a theme aud a prophet from God as a hero. What must be 
the mould of the man to personate the Douglass? He must stand as Saul 
of old, from his shoulders up above his fellow-men. Symmetrical in 
character and harmonious in outline. When standing before the 
audience he must have the dignity of the lion and the strength of the 
ox, the gentleness of the lamb, the tenderness of the mother. An 
Ingomar he must be in patience, an Othello iu honesty, a Mark Antony 
in persuasiveness, a Cicero in thundering ponderousness, a Demosthenes 
in insinuating irony and caustic satire, black, but comely, a personage 
fair indeed to look upon, an advocate to prize, an adversary to fear. 
At once gentle in speech, yet terrible in philippics — able to melt to tears 
or to exasperate to madness. A man of harmonious contradictions, 
charitable and forgiving in his nature. In the play he must be the 
noblest Roman of them all. 


There may be grades of greatness considered from a convenient 
standpoint, but philosophically there is but one greatness. Its differ- 
entia are superiority, it is the superlative. When once recognized 
none other can be considered. Greatness must not be measured by any 
other standard than that graded and marked by ethical principle; that 
is in the being of God. "God alone is great." As man shows 
the imag« of his Maker is he great. The display of divine attributes 
conditions the standard. Lincoln is great and more prominent than 
John Brown, but John Brown is greater. Caesar is great, and stands in 
the index line of secular history as the "foremost man of all the 
world," yet Christ is greater. Daniel Webster stands as. the culmina- 
tion of American institutions and the result of New England's advance- 
ment and refinement, but as a true representative of the genius of 
American philanthropy Douglass is greater. Webster made apologies 
for the wrong. Douglass was as uncompromising as the nature of 
truth, and as just as justice herself. 

Prominence is not greatness. Sesostris, Alexander, Cffisar, Charle- 
magne, all are great, but greater are Moses, Cicero, Luther, and Doug- 
lass. That quartette ruled by might from physical forces. Their 
empires went to pieces as their bodies disintegrated. Their achieve- 
ments lasted only while they controlled them. Their works lived 
because they lived. But this quartette were themselves controlled by 
the powers by which they controlled others. Their conquests and 
creations were in the realm of thought. They wrought in spirit and 
in spirit they live. Their souls are marching on. Their preaching can 
outlive principalities, empires, hammered brass, carved stone or moulded 
bronze. These will pass to their elements, leaving no traces; but those 
in the empire of thought carry the ever lasting and ever moving prin- 
ciple and stamp of the Divine Nature. Products of physical sciences 
are subject to the mutations of time and discovery. Spiritual results 
are unchangeable. 

A thorough study of the life of Mr. Douglass will prove a philosophy 
of being worth the time. Environments may be forceful in the shap- 
ing of character. Much is said about the depths from which he sprang. 
Those depths were external to his soul. He was born in the heights, 
and the depths could not contain that proud spirit. How else are we 
to account for his ethereal flights? He soared without encouragement 
and in spite of discouragement. ' ' Do men gather grapes of thorns, or 
figs of thistles?" Can a fountain shoot higher than its source? Dong- 
lass could not have been other than he was. 

"Can it be that perpetual sleep re.sts upon Quintillius? When will 
modesty and the sister of Justice, nncorrupted Faith, and naked truth 
find any equal to him?" 

He had that nice knowledge of men without which no man can be 
great. His sense of justice was combined with and softened by bene- 
volence. He loved his friends and they remained true to him until 


death. Industrious, shrewd, great and brilliant in political life, a 
penetrating student of politics, he followed the highest intellectual pur- 

Mr. Douglass was truly sent of God. Human ingenuity could not 
break his mission. The slavery drag-net for his apprehension failed to 
catch the fearless champion, and had it done so he would have broken 
through its meshes or have died the death of a martyr to a righteous 
cause; but his soul, streughtened by its return to the God who gave 
it, would have marched on mighty in battle, mighty iu victory. The 
whole contemplation is too rich, too high, too beautiful for earthly 
confines aloue. We must look for the outcome in the state of the soul 
redeemed, entered into the joys of the New Jerusalem. "But now he 
has come unto the Mount Zion and unto the city of the living God, 
heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels . . . 
and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made 
perfect. ' ' 

' ' What needs, ' ' my Douglass, ' ' for his honored bones, 
The labor of an age in piled .stones? 

Or that his hallowed reliques be hid 

Under a starrj'-pointing pyramid? 
Dear son of memory, great heir of fame, 
Wha/ needst thou such weak witness of thy name: 

Thou, in our wonder and astonishment. 

Hast built thyself a live-long monument. 
For whilst to the shame of slow-endeavoring art, 
Thy easy numbers flow; and that each heart 

Hath, from the leaves of thy unvalued book. 

Those Delphic lines with deep impression took; 
Then thou, our fancy of itself bereaving. 
Dost make us marble with too much conceiving, 

And, so sepulchred, in such pomp lie. 

That kings, for such a tomb, would wish to die." 

In giving this expression in menioriam to-night, the history of a 
great people, noted for their love of liberty, their pride of race, ancestry 
and country, their devotion to the cause of humanity, their valor and 
their sterling integrity comes to us as an inspiration. Such a people, 
possessing such traits of character, must needs have produced great 
men, who became noted in the annals of their country through the ac- 
complishment of many magnificent and beneficent deeds. When in the 
thirteenth century Scotland produced a Douglass, noted for his devo- 
tion to country, race, liberty, right and justice, it seems to be a 
repetition of history that America, in the nineteenth century produced 
his parallel in Frederick Douglass. Both devoted their lives to the free- 
dom of their respective people, with the difference that the one sought 
by the force of arms to accomplish that which the other did accomplish 
by calm and persuasive argument, appealing to the higher reason of his 


fellow-men. The one failed, the other succeeded and lived to enjoy the 
fruits of his labor. 

We come then to-night, under the shadow of this great grief that has 
come to us, of his race, that has come to his nation, that has come 
upon the world, and, as it were, lay flowers upon memory's casket to 
this most unique character in history, the greatest negro of this or any 
other age, who became the leader of his race before that race had a 
suffrage. The eloquence of this "slave orator" was wholly original. 
We know that words can never add to the fragrance of his memory, 
which will live as long as human character lives and as long as history 
enrolls the records of men and events. Encomiums cannot now add 
an}' lustre to that life, crowned as it is with noble deeds, undaunted 
courage, fortitude, zeal and duty, while battling for humanity under 
the blazoned banner of "The Brotherhood of Man." 

We present Frederick Douglass to the world to-day as an example of 
the possibilities of the negro under favorable conditions. Especially 
do we invite the people of these United States to view him in all the 
numerous phases of that life — slave, mechanic, freeman, orator, author, 
statesman, philosopher, diplomat, reaching and occupying, like Daniel 
and Joseph, the exalted place next the king — the United States Marshal- 
ship of the District of Columbia. We challenge here and now those 
who in this fair land of ours detract from us, who ostracize and demean 
us, to produce from their kind his equal or one near thereto. We 
safely aiErm that mankind has never furnished his equal along all the 
lines that he so faithfully pursued. 

He was not a Caesar, not a man whose failings bear the imprint of 
greatness, but a Douglass, whose standard of humanity was the highest, 
and whose life was as pure and as just as the doctrine he taught. His 
life, like a Greek tragedy, maintained throughout the same lofty and 
measured dignity. 

But Frederick Douglass is not dead. The good that a man does 
lives after his bones have mouldered away. As an example of the 
valor of the Scots, James of Douglass lives, and will live as long as the 
world shall exist, so shall the memory of the grand achievements of 
the negroes' Frederick Douglass go side by side with his in a blaze of 
glory until memory shall perish from the earth. 

' ' For when the great and good go down, 
Their statues shall arise 
Within these temples of our own. 
Our fadeless memories. 

"For when the sculptured marble falls, 
And Art itself .shall die, 
Their forms shall live in holier halls, 
The Pantheon of the sky. ' ' 

To the young men of to-day we say, it was largely through his cease- 
less and burning eloquence, his many sacrifices, his zeal, his great 


self-respect, his moral and stainless character, that you enjoy the liberties 
you now possess. Though these liberties are shattered and fettered, 
they are ten thousand fold better than Frederick Douglass possessed 
when at your age. Upon you then devolves the preservation of these 
liberties; upon you devolves the task of making them more full in 
their enjoyment. Revere his memory as you do that of your progeni- 
tors, and in all the coming years let the name of Douglass be an 
incentive to high and lofty aims, to noble purposes and deeds. While 
his death is not alone a loss to his family, immediate relatives and 
friends, it is a loss to his race, to his country and to the world, for a 
champion of all human rights against oppression has fallen and thus 
by this touch of nature countless numbers are made to mourn. 

Linked together are the names of Benjamin Lundy, William Wilber- 
force, Daniel O'Connell, William Lloyd Garrison, Elijah P. Lovejoy, 
Wendell Phillips, Charles Sumner, John Brown and Abraham Lincoln, 
of the dominant race, and of our own, the names of Samuel Ward, 
Henry Highland Garnet, Charles L. Remond, William Whipper, Dr. 
Bias, J. W. C. Pennington, Charles H. Langston, Bishop Daniel A. 
Payne, until they form a pyramid of illustrious names, with that of 
Frederick Douglass crowning the apex, with this phrase inscribed — 
' ' Exeg! Hlonumenlunt Aere PcrenntKS. ' ' 

' ' Great Sage ! Thou hast left behind 

Powers that will work for thee, — air, earth and skies: 

There's not a breathing of the common wind 

That will forget thee; thou hast great allies: 

Thy friends are great exultations, agonies. 

And love, and man's unconquerable mind." 

We not only extend our condolence to his widow and his family, but 
to civilization; for Frederick Douglass belonged to the world. 
JERE A. Brown, 
P. M. Tyi<er, 


Riley F.\ms, 
Frank P. Gii.i.i.\in.s, 
Allen S. Peal, 

Committee on Expression. 

^Tributes from tbe Iprees. 


From "The Evening Star," Washington, D. C, Febmarj' 21, 1S95.] 

Of remarkable men this country has produced at least its quota and 
among those whose title to eminence may not be disputed the figure 
of Frederick Douglass is properly conspicuous — a fact that will be 
accentuated by the sudden death of him who did so much for himself 
and for the enslaved millions of his race who by force were compelled 
to residence in this country. Born into captivity and constrained for 
years by anti-educational environment he nevertheless achieved great- 
ness such as rewards the conscientious efforts of but few, and now that 
his earthly existence has ended his character assumes greater propor- 
tions than those conceded it during his lifetime. It is not enough to 
say that Frederick Douglass was a great man — the term has degenerated 
and is frequently misapplied; it is but fair to show wherein his great- 
ness was and of what it consisted. Self-elevated from the degrading 
depths of slavery and ignorance to the highest plane upon which phil- 
anthropic man may here stand, he retained to the last simplicity such 
as is but rarely to be found in those who have come up through great 
tribulation and are accorded place in the midst of the mighty. Always 
deeply interested in political matters, he was ever with the better 
element and was never accused of anj-thiug that .savored of moral im- 
propriety; called to associate with those who were by the accident of 
birth his social superiors, he built up friendships where a narrower 
mind than his would have compelled lasting enmity; often brought 
face to face with the officially powerful, he was yet regardless of what 
a mere politician would have regarded as his personal interests — his 
courage never faltered. It is therefore evident that the principal 
feature of his character was its wonderful breadth. In the minds of 
those who were personally cognizant of Douglass and his anti-slavery 
campaigns he will always be the great orator, and as such to-day he is 
remembered in thousands of English homes — homes that were thrown 
open to shelter him when he fled, a merchantable fugitive, from his 
native land. There he is yet spoken of as the one man whose language 
had the simple charm which until the arrival of Douglass seemed to be 
exclusively possessed by that powerful public speaker and unwearying 
friend of freedom, John Bright ; each reached the heart of his many au- 
diences with monosyllabic directness of the most uncommon yet most 
magnetic sort. To the masses for whom he toiled so incessantly and 

286 IJf ME MO BUM. 

risked so much, the memory of Frederick Douglass should be especially 
precious, yet he cannot be regarded as wholly theirs; he was an Ameri- 
can, of whom the whole people can truthfully say nothing but good and 
of whose friendship no human being — no matter what his racial origin 
— could be otherwise than proud. 

From "The Boston Transcript, " Boston, Mass., Feb. 21, 1895.] 

Frederick Douglass was, at his death, one of the best known men in 
this country. This partially grew out of the fact that, like Abraham 
Lincoln, his name was a household word among the colored people of 
the South. He was, in very truth, a self-made man, having built 
himself up from the condition of a human chattel, to that of a sentient 
being endowed with all the faculties and aspirations of a full-orbed 
manhood. His mission on this planet was evidently to demolish color 
prejudice, and he did this with wonderful success by his example, his 
patient self-sacrifice, his unflinching attachment to principle and his 
never-failing cheerfulness. The political enemies that, on the stump, 
he was wont to overcome, in the darkest slaver)- days, admitted the 
charm of his manner even while he was holding them up to public 
condemnation. He compelled respect — such was his unfailing sim- 
plicity and candor — from the most bigoted pro-slavery men and Union 
savers of that day. He had not been many years freed from the 
shackles of slavery, before the Northern defenders of the "peculiar 
institution" confessed that he was fully a match despite his early dis- 
advantages, for their most renowned champions of wrong and op- 

After slavery was abolished, Mr. Douglass became one of the eloquent 
upholders of the principles of the Republican party. He was a stalwart 
Republican of the old sort. In his own proper person, Mr. Douglass 
might have been at one time cited as a proof of the divine character of 
slaverj', provided that he could have attained the unmistakable 
eminence while the property of another man, that he did as a free 

From the " Brooklyn Eagle, " Brooklyn, N. Y., Feb. 2r, 1S95. ] 

Frederick Douglass was thrice an American. In his veins ran the 

blood of three races — the races that owned the land, that found the 

land, and that developed the land at the bidding of its discoverers: 

the Indian, the white man and the negro. 

The lesson of Douglass' life is that of self-trust and energetic action. 

He was a grand illustration of what a man may do for himself, his 


people and his country. With ever)'l/'"'S against him, he conquered 
a place for himself where he was looked up to even liy his former 
enemies. He was not a weak pleader or petitioner, but a man of 
initiative. It was not because he advanced the interests of the negro 
that men will honor his memory- to-day, but because, by advancing 
the interests of the negro, he raised the level of all manhood, and 
made the whole world better by living in it. 

From the "Brooklyn Times," Brooklyn. N. Y., Feb. 21, 1895.] 

It is not often that the inspired apostrophe of King David over 
Abner, the son of Ner — "Know' ye not that there is a prince and a 
great man fallen this day in Israel?"— is more conspicuously applicable 
to current events in the United States than it is to-day, to the death of 
Frederick Douglass. There are many distinguished and honored 
citizens of African lineage in the United States but not one of them has, 
not all of them have, done so much to advance the interests of this 
important element in American citizenship as the great man who died 
suddenly, last night, in Washington. 

The superlative service which Frederick Douglass rendered to his 
mother's race was to dispel forever the fiction of the inferiority of the 
African race. America has produced many great men, but not one 
who accomplished so much in the face of such a terrible handicap. 
In Abraham Lincoln the United States possesses a splendid example of 
what is possible to a man of brains and principle, even though raised 
amidst the most discouraging environments, but the difKculties against 
which Lincoln had to contend, were as nothing to those that encom- 
passed young Douglass. Bom a slave, his only heritage the blood of a 
race that was regarded as less than human, he was an outcast from the 
common rights of humanity, and even the privilege of teaching him- 
self to read was denied him. It was in this condition, rated only as 
the equal of the mule and the ox, that the first twenty-one of his years 
were spent. Then he escaped, and on free soil he soon vindicated his 
right to equality with the ablest and the proudest of his compeers. It 
was in England that his splendid qualities as an orator were first 
developed and recognized, and it was his English admirers who raised 
the money that purchased his freedom formally from a master whose 
bondage he had shaken off, and made it possible for him to live in 
America, free from the terror of the slave-catcher. An honorable 
career was open to him in England, but he elected to return to the 
United States and to devote his life to furthering the great work of 
emancipation and to prove to the reluctant sense of a prejudiced people 
that the tradition of the natural inferiority of the African race was a 

288 IN MEitORIAM. 

wild fiction The Times regards the work 

which Douglass rendered in this respect as the greatest of the services 
he rendered to his race. The abolition work could have been carried 
to a successful issue by Phillips, Garrison, Whittier, the Joys, Powell 
and the other able and earnest white men who were enlisted in the 
cause, but these could not have done the especial work that Douglass 
did in proving the capacity of tlie race for freedom. 

From the "Indianapolis Journal, " Indianapolis, Ind., Feb. 21, 1895.] 

Frederick Douglass was the man who compelled a reluctant people to 
admit that a man of African blood could be an intellectual force. In 
the face of obstacles now not possible, the born slave rose steadily, step 
by step, to the position of one of the really great men of the period 
in which he lived. Long before the war, with an intellectual persist- 
ence which was only less admirable than his high moral courage he 
had won a reputation as one of the great orators to whom cultivated 

audiences would listen In short, all his years of vigorous 

manhood he has presented to his countrjmen of all races a character 
and a career which all must admire, and which all can contemplate 
with profit. He will hold a place in history among the greatest of 

From the New York "Mail and Express," New York, I'cb. 21, 1895.] 

In the death of Frederick Douglass we lose the last conspicuous 
figure in that brilliant and picturesque group of anti-slavery agitators 
and orators who made so deep an impress upon their contemporaries 
and who will be gratefully and reverently remembered by all future 

Frederick Douglass occupied a position iu that fierce struggle that 
was altogether unique. His relation to the curse of slavery was that of 
both victim and victor. Beyond the wonderful eloquence of his words 
he spoke with the wounds and chains of a slave. The combination 
was irresistible. From 1S3S, when he made his escape from the South 
to New England, down to Lincoln's immortal Emancipation Proclama- 
tion, he never ceased to make war upon the barbarous system of 

Frederick Douglass was a prodigy of his race. He was cast in the 
mould of true greatness. The color of his skin could not hide the glory 
of his soul. His race extraction could not detract from his rank in 
great talents and good deeds. He was a great orator, measured from 
whatever standard. His distinction and standing in this respect woidd 


have been neither increased nor dimiuislied by the possession of a 
white skin. He did not shine with an artificial or a borrowed light. 
His brilliancy was from within. It was a radiation and not a reflec- 
tion. He was respected and consulted by the great anti-slavery leadens, 
and was held in affectionate regard by both Lincoln and Grant. He 
was an honor to his country and an example to his raca He linked 
his life and his talents to noble causes in behalf of humanity. His 
death is a calamity to his race and a loss to the couutr)-. 

From the "Topeka Capital, " Kansas, Feb. 21, 1S95.] 

Frederick Douglass was a man of high intellectual qualities. He 
was a natural orator, spoke in pure English, fluently, gracefully and 
with extraordinary power. \Vliat he did by his attractive address and 
bearing, his personal character and his surprising natural talents, at a 
critical period, for the good name of the negro race in America, it is 

difficult perhaps to exaggerate In the last Republican 

National Convention, Frederick Douglass was a conspicuous figure, 
sitting on the platform behind the chairman, his tall form surmounted 
by a still shaggy head of perfectly white hair. His entrance to the hall 
was, at every session, the signal for general applause and cheers, and 
he was persistently importuned to address the convention. 

At the time of Mr. Douglass' death, he was hard at work in behalf 
of the colored people of the South, and, on the very day of his death 
the personal columns of the new.spapers contained a reference to the 
work he was doing. The colored people of the United States may well 
venerate his memory; not alone for what he did, but also for what he 
was, the prophecy cf a coming race. 

From the "Springfield Republican," Mass., Feb. 21, 1S95.] 

In the person of Frederick Douglass, whose death occurred yesterday 
at his home in Anacostia, a suburb of the National Capital, was em- 
bodied the cause of a race and the highest development it has reached, 
and his departure closes the era of African slavery in America with the 
most powerful emphasis, while it affords a supreme example of the new 
era of entire equal itj' which has begun, and despite all discouraging 
incidents of transition, is to continue, until the brotherhood of 
humanity on lines of character, cultivation and principle, is triumph- 
ant over the petty and irrational prejudice of mere race antagonism. 

Douglass was essentially a great man. Escaping from slaverj- when he 
was twenty-one years old, in three years after he had begun in a Massa- 
chusetts seaport town to be a leader of his race and an orator for the 


abolition of slavery : he became an associate of Garrison and Phillips, 
of Stephen S. Foster, Abby Kelly and Parker Pillsbury, of the Buffums 
and Tappaus, of Charles Remoud, Samuel J. May and Charles C. 
Burleigh, in the great abolition warfare. He went to England and 
stirred the moral sense of the English people, which so often compels 
the allegiance of its politicians and statesmen in behalf of moral 
causes. He became an editor as well as an orator, and one of the con- 
siderable forces in awakening the dull consciences of the Northern 
States to that sensitive pitch where Abraham Lincoln found it when 
his declaration that the nation could not exist unless it became all 
slave or all free struck the sure doom of the institution and its dough- 
face supporters. Later, Douglass was the confidant of John Brown, in 
his chimerical, but noble attack upon slavery in its stronghold ; and 
since all this has been done, he has been honored with high public 
office, as a Marshal of the United States, Recorder of the District of 
Columbia, an ambassador and a special diplomatic agent. In every 
position Douglass showed a capacity which justified his appointment 
and service, even though he was not always successful, or always in 
accord with the best thing to be done. 

Frederick Douglass has thus shown as wide a scope of ability as any 
man could be expected to reach, even with the advantages of free birth 
and absence of all those prejudices, which gathered around his career. 
He was a slave born in disgrace, suffering abuse and degradation, 
friendless and alone, save for other slaves, as hopeless as himself. He 
won recognition as a master of the rare faculty of eloquence, the 
moving power over men which marks the orator from the days of 
Demosthenes to our own. No one who has heard Douglass speak will 
ever forget that most impressive presence. As a young man, his un- 
common stature, his powerful physique, his strongly marked features, 
and a certain repressed rage which spoke through them, together with 
the wealth of native argument and ready illustration, which formed 
the staple of his addresses, bore his hearers on a stream of irresistible 
feeling. His oratory was no more notable than in this fact — that as the 
day of success drew near his whole tone was changed to fit the new 
prospect, and after the war had determined the freedom of his race, 
stern, but calm argument was the staple of his speech, with only so 
much of the intense fervor of the prophet's indignation as served to 
show that the fire did not burn low, but was restrained by the states- 
man's wisdom. This is not to say that Douglass was always wise. 
He was wiser than his friend Wendell Phillips, but there were many 
matters in respect to which he was in error. Nevertheless, it is to be 
said that few men with the background of his bitter experience, the 
character of his origin, the fate of his kindred, the ever-present 
burden of his race, could have been so self-contained, so well con- 
trolled, and so full of charity and consideration for the slow movement 
toward equal justice and the end of cruel prejudice as Douglass was. 


His own race was often turned against him for a brief time by their 
conservative quality, but it was generally recognized, nevertheless, that 
Douglass held his offices and estimated his place as so much gained for 
the cause of the uegro, and not as personal matters. He will be 
regarded as the greatest man of the negro race. 

From the 'Times, " Pittsburg, Pa., Feb. 21, 1S95.] 


With the death of Frederick Douglass passes away an interesting 
figure of even more than national prominence. Born to the color and 
condition of his mother; with no name even, except one which was 
the badge of slavery, he escaped to the free North, applied his mind to 
study as he had opportunity and from his first oration of which we 
have any knowledge, he claimed an equal place upon the platform 
side by side with the foremost leaders of the most vital thought of his 
time. Who can measure or guess how much the influence of his 
splendid abilities in winning respect for the race of his mother had to 
do with the spread of abolition sentiment, which was the vital im- 
pulse of the war, and made the Emancipation Proclamation its natural 
and acceptable fruit? No man who ever heard Frederick Douglass 
speak in those days of his power could ever again believe that the 
black man was fit for no place in the world but the place of a slave. 
Other black men of exceptional ability there have been, and under the 
new conditions there will be many more. But Frederick Douglass has 
a place in history which is all his own, and the lesson that he taught 
can never be forgotten. 

From the " News, " Indianapolis, Ind., Feb. 21, 1895.] 


The death of Frederick Douglass removes the most distinguished of 
American negroes. In the great strides which the race has made since 
the war of the rebellion, many men have displayed ability in various 
directions; not a few have demonstrated capacity for business or for the 
practice of the professions. But Frederick Douglass has not only 
given proof of signal ability and great intellectual force, but his high 
integrit}', sincerity and earnestness have always been recognized and 
appreciated, and never questioned. It is not unfair to say that in the 
instances of some other negroes who have been prominent in politics, 
the same order of intellectual ability, steadfastness and integrity have 
not been so happily combined. Mr. Douglass always enjoyed the 
respect of the great body of the American people. He was keenly 
appreciative of the many difficulties to be overcome in the elevation of 


tht race. Others less just and sane have been abusive, but while Mr. 
Douglass was, through inanj' years, a speaker and writer on topics 
related to the advancement of his own people, he always viewed the 
subject comprehensively. He was too sound a student of history and 
science, and he knew too well his own people and their condition to 
rush into abuse where conseri-ative coun.sel alone could advance the 
causes dear to his heart. 

Mr. Douglass' struggles and achievemeuts would have been praise- 
worthy and admirable in a man of whatever race or color. In the 
instance of a man who began life under the most discouraging circum- 
stances imaginable they lift him to a high place among the men of the 
time. We do not recall that the honesty of his motives was ever 
doubted, or that he ever failed of any task assumed, or any duty im- 
posed upon him. As a public officer he acquitted himself with honor 
and credit, and socially he seems to have been pretty generally received 
in circles which his talents and instincts entitled him to enter. The 
perplexities of what is called, for the sake of convenience, the negro 
problem, increase rather than diminish. Wise guidance from men of 
high character among their own people could be of great help in the 
solution of these puzzling questions. It would be well for the country 
and for the American negro if there were manj- such men as Frederick 
Douglass to address their talents and influence to completing the work 
of which emancipation was only the beginning. 

From the " Bee, " Sacramento, California, Feb. 21, 1895.] 

One of America's great men is no more. Frederick Douglass, with 
the blood of Ethiopia in his veins, was successful in raising himself 
above his station, and in carving out for himself a name that will last 
in history. Douglass was not what could properly be called a remark- 
ably brilliant man, but he was endowed with something far above 
mere brillianc}'. He had purpose, vigor, energy ; he fought for a 
grand cause which he grandly championed. He was soulful. He put 
his whole heart into his work. His speeches were rugged in their 
English— good and pure, but not polished; rather the rough, reliable 
granite. But the auditors always knew that back of his words were 
his heart throbs — and therein lay his power A man may erase and 
erase, polish and polish, change synonym after synonym, until what 
he is to speak swings and sways with its melodious rhythm, enchanting 
the hearers as it falls musically from the tongue of the orator. Yet, if 
the soul of the speaker, his conscience, the indomitable energy of an 
honest purpose, are not back of the words, they will fall as soothingly 
on the ear as the tinkling drops of a fountain, and with about as much 


effect. There was no emasculation in the speeches of Douglass; no 
effeminacy. They broke in upon his auditors like blasts from an old 
war bugle in the days that tried men's souls, and not with the perva- 
sive and peaceful harmony of a cornet solo in a music hall. Men who 
looked at him, who listened to him, knew that his heart, his soul, his 
manhood, his conscience, every fibre of his being were pulsating in 
the burning words he flung forth. They knew he was honest and 
sincere; therefore he commanded respect, attention, admiration, even 
though he frequently evoked bitter opposition. 

The directness, the honesty of purpose, the unswer\-ing devotion to 
his ideal, which characterized this man throughout his life, are fruits 
which it would be well for the rising generation to study and to 
emulate. Whatever they have to do, let them do with all their might 
and main, with all their heart and soul. Let them detest flabbiness of 
purpose, as they would hypocrisy. Let them say what they have to 
say honestly and ruggedly. Let them have an object in life; let that 
object be worthy and honorable and let them champion that object in 
the face of any and all opposition, in the teeth of sneers and threats. 
Men who are without courage are absolutely worthless as factors in 
any scheme of civilization. 

From the "Washington Post," Washington, D. C. , Feb. 22, 1S95.] 

Frederick Douglass was one of the great men of the century, meas- 
uring magnitude by the influence which he was enabled to exert 
through a long and memorable contention. He may not have been at 
all times discreet, adroit or diplomatic in the formulation of policies 
on which to conduct the cause to which he consecrated himself at an 
early period in life, but he was for many years the heart and soul of 
that cause and indomitable in its prosecution. In the .shaping of 
events which finally culminated in the triumph of the abolition 
crusade, no leader in the fight was more potent. 

It is hardly worth one's while to undertake an analysis of the forces 
or the motives by which the original anti-slavery agitators were in- 
spired. The agitation had to be. It was written in the book of fate. 
Call it what you will, manifest destiny or the ordination of an over- 
ruling Providence, it had its inception and ran its course and did its 
work as though by some inexorable mandate, and it is well enough to 
leave the question there. To the results that followed, no exceptions 
are now taken., of course, lacked the scholarship of Wendell Phillips, and 
the masterful rhetoric of Lloyd Garrison, but the eloquence which he 
did possess, and which was felt in two hemispheres for a generation 

294 7.V MEMOIilAM. 

or more, was of well-nigh apostolic earnestness, and in quaint and 
rugged fashion asserted over the sympathies of mankind an almost 
resistless spell. Even sectional prejudice was moved, if not melted 
by it. 

As to his education, such as it was in that strange youth of his, it 
was gained in a school to the portals of which his Northern com- 
patriots were strangers. It was of such a character, so far as imparted 
to him by others as was only to be obtained at the hands of a master oi 
overseer at the end of a lash. So far as self-acquired, it was acquired 
by stealth. Later in life, Mr. Douglass became one of the best-read 
men of the day, and few were his superiors in mental equipment. 
But it was his Maryland education that gave to him his wonderful 
impressiveness as an object lesson upon the rostrum. He who had 
been a whipped slave was capable of sending a thrill of emotion 
through the very platform upon which he spoke. The end came at 
last. Frederick Douglass retired from the front. He became a thrifty 
man of affairs and accumulated valuable property. He conducted 
himself with a manly independence of bearing. He was a faithful 
official and honorable citizen. And he never lost his interest in the 
cause of human suffrage as having no limitations in color or sex. It 
may be that on the very last evening of his life — to the very last act 
of his sentient being — the venerable old man caught a glimpse of the 
promised laud and of the suffrage for womanhood that remains to 
make of it a land of universal liberty. 

From the " New York Tribune, " New York, N. Y., Feb. 22, 1895.] 

Frederick Douglass' eloquence as an orator and his power as a 
political leader lent dignity and honor to the black race. In his own 
career of self-development he illustrated the possibilities of intellectual 
progress among his own people. No child could have been either less 
promising or more ignorant than the Maryland slave boy, yet he 
became the representative man of his race in America by virtue of self- 
help. The child who studied the carpenter's mark on the planks in a 
Baltimore shipyard, was father to the man who in his best estate was 
regarded by good judges as the equal of Phillips, Everett, Sumner, 
Beecher and Curtis, as an orator. The youthful ardor which inspired 
his escape from slavery, and his self-education in New England, was 
the iftme invincible force of character which directed his career as the 
intellectual leader of a despised race. The inspiration of such a life 
ought not to end with death in an honored old age. 

What Frederick Douglass did was to embody in his own life the 
philosophy of the injunction : "Go teach the hands to work, the mind 


to think and the heart to love ! " Self-made and self-trained he dis- 
closed the potentiality of nobilitj- in the obscured and despised slave. 
Life for him was the best thing that could possibly be made of it; and 
because he acquired distinction by talents and accomplishments which 
were regarded as exclusively the gifts of white men, he opened a wider 
and higher destiny for his race. For twenty years before the outbreak 
of the war he taught from abolitionist platforms the great truth that 
the slave had a mind worth educating, a soul predestined for liberty. 
He survived the war period by a long generation and helped to keep 
alive the idea that a black man, whether free or slave, is capable of 
intellectual development and moral and social progress. 

How flippantly this truth is denied by cynical Southerners to-day ! 
It is the commonest thing to hear in the cotton belt such expressions as 
these: "The negro is ruined by education ! " " The old negroes who 
were slaves and have remained ignorant are trustworthy, but the young 
negroes, who have grown up since the war and have received the 
advantages of education, are worthless!" "Teach a black child his 
letters and you unfit him for honest, self-respecting labor !" There 
are to-day thousands of white men in the South who profess to believe 
that the young generation of blacks is inferior to the old generation, 
which was born and bred in slavery, and that education is spoiling 
what might otherwise be an efficient and industrious working race. 
This, happily, is not the general belief. If it were, school appropria- 
tions would be cut down and negro illiteracy would be allowed to 

The fame of Frederick Douglass is the heritage of millions of 
negroes who, little by little, and hand over hand, are struggling to 
work out their destiny, and to justify their emancipation as the 
crowning result of the fratricidal war of which slavery was the cause. 
It is like a still small voice rising above the idle chatter about the 
evils of education and ' ' the good old slavery times, ' ' above the fury 
and turmoil of election mobs, lynchings and the atrocities of "slave 
hunting." It silences the stupid lie that slavery can ever be better 
than liberty, or that ignorance is safer than intelligence for any human 
creature made in the image of God. 

From the "Indianapolis Sentinel," Indianapolis, Ind., Feb. 22, 1895.] 
Frederick Douglass as a man of native ability stood at the head of 
his race in this countrv". His attained acquirements in their earlier 
stages were more creditable than those of white men who have arisen 
from lowly position because he had not only the obstacles of poverty 
to struggle against, but also the obstacles of prejudice and law, which 
opposed any education. An invincible will, developed even in child- 
hood, carried him over all impediments and gave him in early 

296 JN ME3I0EIA3I. 

manhood the friendship and respect of the great abolition leaders. 
Throughout his life he held the esteem of the prominent men of the 
nation with whom he was thrown in contact. His life-work was for 
the benefit of his race in this country, and it may be doubted that any 
one accomplished more for it than he. His people should always hold 
his memory in the highest honor. 

From the "Weekly Astonisher," Philadelphia, Pa., Feb. 28, 1895.] 

Wliat Gambetta was to France, Gladstone to the Britons, Bismarck 
to the Germans, and what Blaine was to every true American heart, 
but poorly expresses to our friends Mr. Douglass' true station to the 
negro. His name is to-day a part of history. Few of us accorded to 
him in his lifetime that meed of praise that was due him as a man 
and a Christian. We have often said, and are still of the opinion, 
that few of ns ever appreciated the man's real worth. We truly 
believe that he was really the greatest negro who ever lived, and we 
feel that time will bear us out in our assertion. His aims were lofty 
and he made it the aim of his life to lead the negro to this higher 
plane. Often we refused to see as he did, but that did not for one 
moment stop him in his noble work. "Come up higher!" his actions 
always said to us, and if we did not follow, he kept right along. He 
never lowered his standard one inch. He bad lifted himself from a 
station as low as ever man held. Liucobi, Wilson and Johnson came 
up from poverty, but with advantages of freemen ; but Douglass, a 
black slave boy, lived to be honored with them; and this through his 
own energy. 

He was orator, journalist, statesman and worthy of the praise of all 
people. His life was a most blameless one and one worthy all emula- 
tion. To our children, the name of Frederick Douglass should have 
the same influence for good as has the name of George Washington. 
In Mr. Douglass we have the possibilities of the race clearly brought 
out ; with him there was no negro problem, and he was right. He 
has made the way; let us walk therein. 

From the "Chicago Tribune, " Chicago, 111., Feb. 22, 1895.] 


By the death of Frederick Douglass there has passed away the most 
illustrious representative of the negro race in the United States, and a 
well-known figure so highly esteemed by the white people that his 
entrance into their midst upon any public occasion was always the 
signal for an enthusiastic pensonal greeting. No man, bU^ck or white. 


has been better known for nearly half a century in this country, tlian 
Frederick Douglass. 

While Mr. Douglass' death will cause widespread regret among 
people of all classes, it is among his own people that he will be most 
sincerely mourned. He was, in an eminent sense, the ideal of the 
possibilities of his race and a type of which it was proud. He rose 
out of the conditions of human slavery, and by his ow^n exertions 
attained to high positions in the service of his country and made his 
reputation for intellectual and oratorical ability world-wide. He 
began his efforts to know something, to learn to read and write, and to 
fit himself for higher conditions, even while he was the chattel of his 
master. How he learned he hardly knew himself, but ambition grew 
with knowledge, and at last he made good his escape. He was no 
longer a chattel, but a free man, and, once free, the possibilities of 
his nature and his intellect were made known and recognized. Living 
in the free State of Massachusetts, he was brought in contact with the 
leading agitators of the time, Theodore Parker, Wendell Phillips, 
William Lloyd Garrison and numerous others, both men and women, 
and was warmly welcomed by them as a co-worker. Under their 
auspices he soon took a leading position as an antagonist of slavery 
and a champion of his people, and as such he was recognized both in 
this country and in Europe. 

With the details of his remarkable career, his struggle against 
slavery, his eloquence with pen and tongue, his long, earnest labors 
for his people, whether free or slave, and the successful accomplish- 
ments of his life, the public is familiar. The most glorious part of 
his career was that in which he was fighting the battle of freedom for 
his own people. From that point of view they have every reason to be 
proud of him and of his record. In his later years he was more or less 
associated with politics, and he was more or less human in that con- 
nection, but this will be considered as of little account when placed in 
contrast with his great achievements for his race, and with the mag- 
nificent example he set them of what indomitable will, high ambitions, 
restless industry and nobility of purpose can accomplish. 

From the "Chicago Herald," Chicago, 111., Feb. 22, 1S95.] 

Douglass was undoubtedly a great factor in hastening the progress of 
public opinion in the United States toward emancipation. Mastering 
the English language until he possessed almost a phenomenal elo- 
quence, in which the impetuosity of one strain of descent commingled 
with the logic of the other, few orators of the age surpassed him in 
persuasive power over a popular audience. 


He probabl}' more resembled O'Connell in scope than any other 
haranguer of the century, except that he had none of the great Celt's 
humor. Douglass was bitter where O'Connell was jocular. The 
depressed social state of the race to which the Celt belonged never 
affected its constitutional gaiety, which enabled its victims to smile 
at their miseries where they could find no other alleviation for them. 

Douglass was deficient in this resource as an orator, although he was 
a good story teller off the platform. 

Douglass' appearance on the rostrum before the emancipation ques- 
tion was settled iu the Federal law, was always the most significant 
incident of an evening. Black enough to proclaim his mother's 
classification, he possessed the strong body, the well-poised head, the 
dominating self-control that command attention, and his torrent of 
invective, his overwhelming story of personal dangers, of blood- 
hounds, sale of women and children, barter of womanhood to bestiality 
among masters, enforced degradation of even house servants, who 
happened to be black, together with an alternative talent of entreaty 
and inspiration, made him easily one of the foremost personages iu 
the movement he powerfully led. 

From the " Daily News, " Strand, London, Eng. , Feb. 22, 1S95.] 

The history of Frederick Douglass belongs to the great day of 
Wendell Phillips and Lloyd Garrison, of John Brown and Harriet 
Beecher Stowe. He was born a slave; he died as full of honors as of 
years. He was an ex-Minister of the United States, and he had held 
other offices of only inferior dignity. At one time he was a familiar 
figure on the platform, and he was regarded on both sides of 
the Atlantic as a representative of all that was best in his race. The 
purity of his life and the brilliancy of his talents as an orator, and a 
man of letters, were in themselves, and without regard to the noble 
ends to which he made them subservient, among his highest services 
to the negro cause. They showed of what the negro was capable under 
freedom, fair advantages and generous treatment. In his early ex- 
perience he stood for everything that was most tragic in the fate of the 
slave; in his late career of public honor and of public consideration he 
showed to what eminence of every kind the despised race wanted only 
opportunity to attain. The war at length brought him to his final and 
conclusive reckoning with the enemies of human liberty, and its 
triumphant tennination gave him the full freedom of the soil in the 
land of his birth. His place in public life was waiting for him. He 
rose rapidly in honors and in dignities. He was sent on a mission to 
San Domingo, appointed a member of Council, and subsequently 
Marshal of the District of Columbia, and a representative elector for 
the State of New York. In later years he was appointed United States 


Minister to Haiti. No great public celebration of national importance 
was considered complete without him. As au orator, or as a writer for 
the press, his utterances reached to the furthest extremities, not only 
of his own country, but of ours. He had but one great theme — the 
amelioration of the lot of his race. He pleaded with them as well as 
for them, and he never ceased to teach them the precious lessou of 
.self-help. "I have aimed," he .said, "to a.ssure them that knowledge 
can be obtained under difficulties; that poverty may give place to 
competency ; that obscurity is not an absolute bar to distinction, and 
that a way is open to welfare and happiness for all who will resolutely 
and wisely pursue it ; that neither slavery, stripes, imprisonment, nor 
proscription need extinguish self-respect, crush manly ambition, nor 
paralyze effort; that races, like individuals, must stand or fall by their 
own merits, that the fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we 
are underlings, and that 'who would be free, themselves must strike 
the blow.' " His final efforts on behalf of his race brethren were 
devoted to that anti-lynching crusade, of which Miss Ida Wells in 
America, and Miss Florence Balgarnie and other ladies of position in 
this country, are the generous champions. One of his latest literary 
labors was an article on that cause in the American Church Review, 
which was justly described as a splendid specimen of impassioned 
eloquence. From first to last it was a noble life. His own people 
have lost a father and a friend, and all good men a comrade in the 
fight, not only for the legal emancipation of one race, but for the 
spiritual emancipation of all. 

From the "Tribune," Salt L.ike City, ITtah, Feb. 22, 1S95.] 

The colored people owe him loving remembrance, for he did very 
much to exalt his race. He wore his life out in trying to make the 
path easier for them to tread, and to convince the .'American people 
that the colored people not only had co-equal rights with white people, 
but that they possessed intellect to maintain themselves and be good 
citizens if given the chance. was about the last of the old 
race. Garrison, Phillips, Sumner, Wade, Andrews, the whole band of 
immortals, who devoted the best of their lives to the redemption of 
this country from the .stain of slavery, are all dead, and with the 
death of Douglass that page in the history of our country closes. 
There are other forms of slavery upon the people now, and while we 
let the dead past bury its dead, the work which these men performed 
ought to be our inspiration to try to cure what is still wrong, and keep 
this land secure, that her freedom for human intellect and liberty of 
action under the law may be secured to all the generations to come. 


From the "Times," Oakland, California, Feb. 23, 1895.] 

Few living orators surpassed Frederick Douglass in declamatory elo- 
quence. He was not argumentative or so logical as many of his con- 
temporaries, but few living men of his day ever produced a more 
powerful impression upon an audience. His manner was wonderfully 
eloquent, and his language copious and impressive. He stood before 
an audience a natural orator like the African Cinque who, without the 
aid of schools, poured forth with burning zeal the thoughts which 
crowded his brain. His voice was good, his form manly and graceful, 
and his electric words leaped forth like the flashes of lightning, 
clothed with beauty and power. 

The writer of this listened to him when a boy, and was spellbound 
with his bold imagery, pictures gorgeously beautiful, voice as musical 
and deep as the organ and captivating as the songs of the sirens. He 
held his audience entranced from start to finish. He was a wonderful 
man, more wonderful from the contrast with his early life of bondage 
and chains that bound body, mind and soul in their fetters of hopeless 
darkness and moral and intellectual death. 

In his old age a Republican president conferred upon him an official 
position of United States Marshal of the District of Columbia, which 
he honorably held until Mr. Cleveland came into the presidency, when 
he was removed. 

A great free people have progressed beyond the false idea, born of 
human slavery, that the color of the skin is the sign manual of a man 
and a gentleman, and honor the name of Frederick Douglass, strong 
in mental powers, as was the Black Douglass of Scotland in physical 
powers, and with a chivalry of character, like unto his namesake. 

Peace to the ashes of the great orator and liberator of his race. 

From the "Press," Philadelphia, Pa., Feb. 24, 1895.] 

The death of Frederick Douglass has been followed by wide public 
notice of the honors he had received, the consideration with which he 
has been treated and the positions he has filled. 

But it is worth while remembering in the interest of justice and 
equality, twin duties of the Republic, that these honors and this con- 
sideration were both infinitely less than he would have received in any 
other civilized country in the world, though more than one American 
goes through life imagining that "the Republic is opportunity" for 
all its citizens in a better sense than in other lands. As a matter of 
fact, it is not, where color is concerned. 

In England, with his ability as a speaker, Frederick Douglass would 
have unquestionably become a member of Parliament, and he might 


easily have been knighted, as men darker than he have been. In 
France he would have found Dumas, a man darker than himself, 
honored through life in every social circle, and after death one of the 
few whose statue stands in the Theatre Franfaise. If, as might easily 
have been the case, Douglass had been elected to the French Academy, 
he would have found there, now and in the past, men of his race. In 
no corner of France and in no part of Europe would he have found 
the hotel, the theatre, the railroad car, the school or the home in 
which he would not have been accepted on his merits as a man and 
his manners as a gentleman. 

This -simple equality and justice exists in all other civilized nations. 
Wlien like even-handed justice is dealt here the negro question will 
be solved, and no other solution can give peace, because no other 
is just. 

From "L'Eclair," France, 24 Fevrier, 1893. L'Actualite.] 

Dans le champ de I'^ternit^ — pour parler le langage de I'auteur de la 
Case de I'oncle Tom — ^dent d'arriver Fr(Sderic Douglass. 

Ce Frederic Douglass fut une maniere de grand hommc noir, un peu 
rO'Counell des negres. . . . 

En secret, il avait appris a lire et a ^crire. A vingt et un ans, il met- 
tait a execution un project concu depuis longtemps. II s'enfuit d New 
York, puis a New Bedford, ou il v^cut de son travail manuel pendant 
deux ans. 

II ne faudrait point croire que sa fuite passa inapercue. Elle fut .sig- 
nalee par des avis insercs en bonne place — avis qui n'ont point chang^ 
depuis qu'il y a des esclaves au monde. Quelle difference voit — on entre 
Vavis de la fuite d'un esclave que relate un papyrus ^gyptien accroch^ 
ala muraille du Louvre, et celui-ci qui est coutemporain de Frederic 

C'etait plus que sa liberty qu'il entendait conquerir, mais celle aussi de 
ses fr^res traites conmie des betes de somme. 

Le jeune esclave s'etait mis en tete que ses pareils ne seraient ni vendus 
comme des betes, ni battus, ni tyrannises. Des 1841, il commen^a son 
oeuvre abolition uiste. En les Etats du Nord il prononga d'ardents dis- 
cours en faveur de cette cause. II se montra si (Eloquent, si entrainant, 
si chaleureux, qu'on lui offrit d'etre I'agent de la Societe anto-esclavagiste 
du Massachusetts, avec mission de pr^cher publiquement I'abolition. 


II conimenga par precher d'exemple, en publiant I'histoire de .sa vie. 
II fallait a cette cause gagner de libres et fiers e.sprits. 11 vint en Angle- 
terre, dans les principales villes ; noir Picrrc-rErmite, il organi.sait la 


croisade sainte, pour I'emancipation de ses freres dans les chaines. 
C'^tait dans le meme temps que I'admirable Beeclier-Stowe coucevait la 
Case de I'oucle Tom, cet evaugile fraternel des nouveaux cieux. On 
craignit que ce predicateur dout I'eloquence dtait si dangereuse ne fut 
expose a ere renchaine. On paya sa rani;on. D^sormais, il ^tait libra. 

De cette liberty, il ne se servit que pour la poursuite de I'id^e. 
Esclave affrauchi, il porta tout de suite la guerre vers les esclavagistes. 
II fonda la Feuille de Frederic Douglass, un journal hebdoniadaire. l,e 
succes de cette feuille dtait d'autant plus grand que beaucoup d'esclaves 
— on ne salt comment— avaient appris a tire. 

Sa croi.sade porta ses fruits. EUe mena le peuple des noirs dans la terre 
premise : au pays de la liberte. 

Etourdis de cette independence, comme un enfant par un vin capiteux, 
ils manacerent d'eij faire un usage facheux. Douglass intervint, leur 
remontra que leur force dtait dans leur sagesse et qu'ils avaient le de voir 
de se montrer dignes de la liberty qu'ils avaient conquise, en travailleut 
sans d^sordre. 

On I'ecouta. 


II savait langue riche, imagee, ardente. II s'exprimait avec une veri- 
table largeur de vues, philosophe sense et profond. En novembre, 1865, 
il adressait au Pliare de la Loire cette lettre : 

" La cause de la liberty et de la justice est grande comme le nionde. 
EUe u'est limit^e ui par le pays, ni par le climat, ni par la couleur. 
Celui qui y coopdre par une bonne action, celui qui prononce une parole 
digne pour son service, n'est plus un Stranger, mais un compatriote, un 
homme de la meme famille, un a\\\€, un frere cheri. . . . 

"La doctrine qu'une race puisse etre eievde par la degradation d'une 
autre a refu une refutation puissante dans la guerre terrible qui vient de 
se terminer dans ce pays. Cette guerre nous a appris la grande le^on que 
les nations, de meme que les individus, doivent respecter les droite de la 
nature humaine. La cliaine au pied de Vesclave est altachte au cou de 

I 'oppresscur. 

"J'ai appris avec plaisir le fait que la plupart des esprits superieurs ont 
embrasse notre cause. Les noms de Victor Hugo, Lamartine, Louis 
Blanc, Schoelcher, Edgar Quinet, ceux des ministres du gouvernement 
provisoire de la Rdpublique sont des noms que les hommes de couleur 
deivent partout cherir et honorer." 

L'homme qui s'exprimait ainsi, zdlateur d'une noljle cause, arbitre 
ecoute, poiemiste vibrant, administrateur des biens gendraux, soldat 
meme, a acheve sa vie precieuse. II a droit au bon repos, bien gagnd. 

II a droit aussi au souvenir dmu et des noirs qu'il affranchit et. . . . 
de leurs maitres — car il deiivra ceux ci de la honte d'opprimer, car il les 
deberi-assa de cette chaine qui, pour employer son energique expression, 
les rivait par le cou au pied de leur propre esclave. 


From the "Post," Boston, Mass., Fel). 24, 1895.] 

The death of Frederick Douglass has served to call attention to the 
fact — which no one thought anything about when he was alive — that 
he was half white. From a mingUng of races sprang this man of 
genius and power. 

It is easy to say, as has been carelessly said by some in coumienting 
upon Mr. Douglass' life and career, that the intellectual power, the 
ambition, the talent which he displayed, were inheritances from his 
white father; that the colored strain disappeared except as it gave the 
hue to his skin ; and that to all intents and purjjoses Frederick 
Douglass was a white man. But this is not fair or reasonable. It may 
flatter the pride of race, which all Caucasians feel, to assume the 
dominating force of that blood in combination with others; but in the 
case of Douglass it is taking too much for granted to claim him 
entire for the white half of his origin. 

Equally unjust is it to refuse to him the place of a representative of 
the colored race. It is said that his mental processes were those of a 
white man; that in logical persistence, in foresight, in perseverance 
toward high ideals, in the intellectual and moral, rather than in the 
material world of the senses, he showed himself fully controlled by the 
influences characteristic of the white race. But this also is asking 
too much. It is not imaginable that the results of heredity can be 
thus exactly assigned to one source or another; and it is preposterous 
to assume that all the good and noble in human nature is to be found 
in one color, and all that is detrimental in another. 

The fact is that Douglass represented iu himself the possibilities of 
development of the race whose color he bore, as clearly as he also rep- 
resented certain characteristics of the white race. It was not as a 
white man that he took his place in the world; it was as a negro, and 
as such he won his way to leadership and honors in two hemispheres. 
He was superior intellectually to the vast majority of the colored race. 
So were Daniel Webster, Wendell Phillips, Abraham Lincoln superior, 
on much the same lines of superiority, to the vast majority of their 
race. In each case, it is the development of the individual which 
produces the exception. The racial possibility exists; the single 
personality demonstrates its existence. 

Frederick Douglass was a truly great man, of a greatness with which 
his color had nothing to do. He was phenomenal in his gifts. But 
throughout his character there were observable traits which mark the 
colored race unmistakabl}', and which forbid the claim so flippantly 
made of the predominance of the white strain in his blood. He was 
emotional and enthusiastic in a remarkable degree, as well as capable of 
communicating enthusiasm to others. He was faithful even to blind- 
ness, in his friendships. He was unselfish in his devotion to sentiment, 

304 IN MEMORIAil. 

and fearless of consequences in bis pursuit of what he felt to be 
right. He was in every respect the finest example this country has 
produced of the possibilities of the colored race; and no intricate 
problem of heredity can be set up to take from that race the honor of 
producing such a representative. 

From "La Justice," Paris, 26 Fevrier, 1S95.] 


Un Champion de I'Abolitionnisme, 
L'esclavage aux Etats-Unis. — Mort de Frederic Douglass. 

Vers 1841, un jeune homme parcourait les Etats du Nord de 1' Amerique, 
prechant rabolition de l'esclavage. Son eloquence entrainante, I'ardente 
conviction qu'il mattait au service de sa cause, lui acquirent bientot uue 
notoriete considerable. 

La societe anti-esclavagiste du Massachusetts qui commenj ait alors 
sa campagne abolitionniste songea a s'attacher cet auxiliaire puissant. 
Elle ofirit a Fr^d(5ric Douglass — c'etait le nom du jeune prddicateur — de 
devenir son agent et de precher pour elle. Celui-ci accepta et reprit avec 
ardeur sa mission humanitaire. 

Desireux de gagner les grands esprits a sa cause, Douglass viiit en 
Angleterre, et parcourut les principales villes, organisant partout la 
croisade sainte pour I'emancipation de ses freres dans les chaines. 
C'etait dans le menie temps que I'adniirable Beecher-Stowe concevait la 
Case de roncle Totn, cet evangile fraternel des nouveaux cieux. On 
craignit quece predicateur dont I'eloquence ^tait si dangereuse ne fut 
expos^ a etre renchaine. On pays sa ran?on. D^sormais, il etait libre. 

De cette liberte, il ne se servit que pour la poursuite de I'id^e. Esclave 
afiTranchi, il porta tout de suite la guerre vers les esclavagistes. II fonda 
la feuille de Fr^d(Sric Douglass, un journal hebdomadaire. Le succes de 
cette feuille dtait d'autant plus grand que beaugoup d'esclaves — on ne sait 
comment — avaient appris a lire. 

Sa croisade porta ses fruits. Elle aboutit, apres plusieurs annees de 
lutte a I'afFranchissement des noirs. 

On sait que ceux-ci, etourdis par cette independence menac^rent d'en 
faire un facheux usage. 

Douglass intervint alors : il fut I'arbitre entre les affranchis et leur 
maitre d'hier. 

En apprenant aux nouveaux hommes libres le noble usage qu'ils 
devaient faire de leur liberty, il servit une fois de plus a cause de la phil- 
anthrophie. Tel vient de terminer une vie bien remplie. Son souvenir 
ne mourra pas. 

Frederic Douglass a sa place marquee parmi les grands bienfaiteurs de 


From the "Democrat and Chronicle, " Rochester, N. Y. , Feb. 26, 1895.] 

It was to be expected that howls would be raised in some parts of the 
South over the action of the North Carolina legislature in adjourning 
out of respect to the memory of Frederick Douglass, and in refusing to 
adjourn on General Lee's birthday. The New Orleans Stales comes 
forward with a wail and a protest, saying that the members of the leg- 
islature have "violated decency," earned the "contempt of the whole 
country," and "insulted their ancestors." 

It continues thus: "The tribute of respect which they have paid to a 
negro, whose life was .spent iu attacking and vilifying the white 
people of the South, and the brutal insult offered to the memory of 
General Lee, one of the grandest and noblest characters in American 
history, will, we are quite sure, do the Populist cause no good, for the 
reason that it will impel self-respecting white men in North Carolina 
to revolt against Populism and stamp it out. " 

This, and all talk like it, is out of date. The name of Frederick 
Douglass stands for freedom, and can never be separated from the 
deliverance of this nation from the disgrace of maintaining traflSc in 
human beings. The name of Lee stands for a great rebellion, designed 
to disrupt this Republic, for the purpose of perpetuating and extending 
the system of slavery. Lee's "grand and noble character is one 
thing; his significance in history is another. It was right for 
the North Carolina legislature, whether it was composed of Popu- 
lists, Democrats or Republicans, to show respect for the man who 
had been a leader iu a campaign for liberty. There is not much sense 
in interrupting public business on every birthday of a soldier who 
fought for a bad cause that was lost. It is well to keep sight of the 
cold facts of the case and of their meaning in the life of this nation. 


This morning all that is mortal of Frederick Douglass will be 
brought from his home on the banks of the Potomac, to be placed at 
rest, in the beautiful Mount Hope cemetery, on the banks of the 

It is eminently fitting that the remains of the great apostle of human 
freedom should find their resting place in the city which was for so many 
years his home. It was here that he passed the early years of his 
manhood, and where the greater part of the work to which he devoted 
his life was accomplished. Here, before the war, which resulted in 
the emancipation of his race in America, he toiled ''onstantly for the 
cause of human freedom, and he has never quite ceased to be regarded 
as one of Rochester's citizens. It cannot be said of Frederick Douglass 
that he was without honor in his own city, and the city which he has 
honored in his life will be honored as the place of his burial. It was 


here that he saw the light for which he had been so many years 
watching break over the land of bondage. It was here that he read 
the immortal Proclamation of Emancipation, which, at one stroke, 
broke the chains of millions of his oppressed race, and made this 
land, for the first time in truth and deed, the home of the free. The 
stalwart and dignified form, so familiar to the people of Rochester, 
has fallen, and the tongue, whose eloquence has thrilled hundreds of 
thousands of auditors, is stilled, but his work is done, and all that 
remains is to honor his memory. 

In accordance with arrangements that were made by the committee of 
the Common Council, the remains will lie in state in the city hall, 
and the three upper grades of the public schools will be closed during 
the forenoon to enable the children to view the face of one who is so 
closely identified with the history of their city and country. 

It is too early to write the obituary of Frederick Douglass. The 
people of the United States are not far enough from the events attend- 
ing the work to which he was engaged to appreciate that work in its 
entirety. That he .suffered much and accomplished much is known 
and read of all men, but the final results of that suffering and that 
ceaseless labor no man living to-day can measure. Born and reared in 
slavery, it was vouchsafed to him to see the auction block banished 
from the land, but the future of his race, for whom he toiled so 
unceasingly, was hidden from his view. In the later years of his life 
this problem of the future of the colored race in the United States was 
very close to his heart. With a wisdom which was greater than that 
of most men, he recognized the difficulty of the problem to the full. 
He believed that it is through education alone that the welfare of his 
race can finally be achieved, and the benefits of freedom fully realized. 
With this idea he worked until the last. To-day Rochester is proud 
to honor the memory of its distinguished citizen. Children, who this 
morning gather around the bier of this truly great American, will 
cherish his memory in the coming years, when the prejudice which 
moved a Senator of the State of Maryland to object to his remains 
lying in state in the National Capitol, shall be obliterated. They will 
read the history of Douglass in a better light than the present affords; 
read it when a measure of justice shall have been meted to his race so 
long held in bondage ; read it when his grave shall have become a 
shrine, which shall be the object of the pilgrimage of lovers of free- 
dom throughout the civilized world. For the name of Frederick 
Douglass will go down to posterity with that of Abraham Lincoln. 


From the "Journal de Rouen," 27 Fevrier, 1S95.] 

La Mort tie Frederic Douglass a ravive les controverses tant de fois 
agitees apropos des aptitudes intellectuelles des uoirs. Assez peu connu 
en Europe, le personnage qui vieut de disparaitre etait cdlebre de I'autre 
cote de I'Atlantique. Tous les uegres du Nouveau-Monde le consideraient, 
a bon droit, comrae I'honneur et la gloire de leur race, et en apprenant 
qu'il venait de rendre le dernier soupir, la Chanibre des representants des 
Etats-Unis a leve la seauce en signe de deuil. C'est en vain que, pour 
faire echouer cette manifestation, les deputes de ceux des Etats du Sud 
ou les Wanes ont conserve la majorite, out opposi5 Washington a Doug- 
lass. La motion o\i ils c^lebraient la gloire du fondateur de la R6publique 
Aniericaine a ete repoussee par 32 voix coutre 25. Le Pere de la patrie a 
^te battu par un negre. 

C'etait peut-etre exagdrer les mdritcs de Frcddric Douglass que de le 
niettre au-dessus de Washington a .sept voix- de majorite, mais il n'en 
serait pas moins injuste de ne pas rendre honimage aux hautes qualites 
morales de cet ancien esclave qui a si puissamment'contribud a reniancipa- 
tion de sa race. 

Les generations actuelles, obligees de vivre sous les armes, dans une 
legitime defiance k I'^gard de toutes les nations, ne peuvent se faire une 
idee des gen^reux entrainements qui se manifestaient autrefois en Europe 
en faveur de I'abolition de I'esclavage. 

Fr^d^ric Douglass a continue par la parole I'oeuvre que Mme. Beecher 
Stowe avait commenc^e par la plume. 11 a d^fendu devant I'opiuion 
publique, la cause des noirs. 

From the •■ Independent." New York, Fel). 28, 1S95.] 

Frederick Douglass was the one great negro representative of the 
abolition campaign. He was not only one of the great orators for 
freedom, but he was the brilliant example of what was the genius 
hidden in the negro race and of what was the atrocity of keeping such 
men in slavery. 

He belonged to a mixed race and his life does not at all confirm the 
theory that the product of such relations between those of the most 
diverse race depreciates the moral, the intellectual or the physical 
character of the offspring. He was a man of massive figure, great brain 
power and strong moral perceptions. Magnificent, tall and strong. 
In the later years of his life his large head, covered with pure white 
hair, made him a striking figure in any public place. In the company 
of men, who, for twenty years or more labored for freedom against all 


obloquy, Douglass deserves a high rank ; among the cultivated and 
forcible orators of the country, he was the chief representative of the 
colored people of the country, their pride and example, a man of 
noble purpose, grand achievement, wise counsel and pure life. His 
death takes from us the most picturesque figure which has come down 
to us from the days of the fathers. 

From the "Christian Register," Boston, Mass., Feb. 28, 1S95.] 

"With a great price, " Frederick Douglass might have said, "pur- 
chased I this freedom." Yet, though slave-born, the instincts of free- 
dom were born in him. They early asserted themselves, and were 
with him a controlling influence during his whole life. It was fore- 
seen by the slaveholders that slavery and a high degree of knowledge 
and intelligence could not exist together. The laws in all the Southern 
States prohibiting slaves from learning to read and write were enacted 
as a safeguard of slavery. To-day, when schools and colleges for the 
education of the colored people are springing up everywhere in the 
South, protected and fostered by State laws and crowded by eager 
throngs of colored youths, it may be hard to realize that Frederick 
Douglass had to learn to read and write by stealth, and that he was 
violating the laws of the State of Maryland in acquiring this knowl- 
edge. He likewise refused to regard himself as a piece of property, 
and added to his criminality by running away. The interesting 
details of his early life he has told in his autobiography. 

Frederick Douglass had the joy not onl)' of gaining his own free- 
dom, but of seeing the enfranchisement of his race and its remarkable 
progress in the last twenty-five years. Yet race hatred dies slowly. 
There are States in the South in which it would have been unlawful 
for Mr. Douglass to ride in the same car with white men, his inferior 
in ability, knowledge and decorum. And one of his last addresses in 
Boston was directed against the evils of lynching in the South. 

As Mr. Douglass saw that liberty was too great and too sacred a 
blessing for his own selfish enjoyment, he saw likewise that civil and 
political freedom could not be bound by sex any more than it could be 
bound by race. He became an earnest advocate of woman suffrage. 
He spoke in favor of temperance and other moral reforms. He was 
benevolent in spirit and progressive in ideas. He was a striking and 
commanding figure, especially in later years, when the large bronze 
face was crowned with hair like snow on the summit of Oljrmpus. 

Douglass wrought in no spirit of vindictiveness. It cost him some- 
thing to obtain his freedom. It cost the South something, too. But 
it was worth to Douglass all that he paid for it, and worth to the 


South vastly more than it cost ; for there is nothing clearer than that 
the emancipation of the colored man was necessarj' to the emancipation 
of the white man. The South will some day erect monuments to 
Garrison, Phillips and Douglass, or, if it does not pay the debt in this 
way, it will be paid more fully by the perfect consummation of the 
liberty for which these men wrought. 

From the "Advance, " Chicago, 111., Feb. 28, 1S95.] 

And so another "grand old man," for years the picture.sque 
and historically significant personality in America, is gone. The 
great American negro will always remain one of the mcst distinctive 
and heroic characters in American history of the now closing century, 
at least so long as men care to remember that the youthful American 
Republic, boasting of matchless freedom, imagined that the mocker>' 
might continue and itself be "half slave and half free," until the 
conscience of the North was, at last, awakened, as it were, from the 
dead, enough to make it inevitable that the long " ' impending crisis' ' 
be settled by war and crowned by the immortal act of emancipation. 

There has been no more heroic personage in the new world ; none whose 
life and lifelong contention stood for more. The difference between 
what was and what is seems well-nigh incredible; a monstrous gulf 
spanned by this one life. To think back hardly fifty years ago to the 
condition of things in our own country, in New England even, when for 
a man, however otherwise honored and loved he might be, to stand up 
before his brethren and declare human slavery to be a wrong and a 
wickedness, a flagrant contradiction of the first principles of our gov- 
ernmental theory, and something that ought to be abolished, was to 
subject such a man to the special contumely, and likely as not to be 
chased out of town by ill-odorous eggs, if fortunately he escaped the 
coating of tar and feathers, now seems like peering back into prehis- 
toric ' ' dark ages. ' ' 

But all of this Douglass saw and much of it he was. That he lived 
through it all and was permitted to see the consummated victory, and 
to be himself, though once a slave, one of the most universally honored 
and esteemed men in the nation, and to go on still pleading the rights and 
the hopes of his brethren of his own race, and to champion in various 
ways the cause of reform for the whole people, %vith that unique effec- 
tiveness of eloquent speech, that has but rarely ever been surpassed, 
all this appears now to have been a piece of poetic, rather than of 
providential justice. 

To name Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Dougla,ss in one breath 
does no injury to the memory of either. Should the people of his 


own race, North and South, unite by the gift of but a penny a piece 
for the erection at the Capital of the nation of a monument to his 
memory, not over pompous in size, but one fitted to last forever, all 
the world would applaud them for it. 

Should the government itself be moved to erect some other memorial 
to match it, it would be an object lesson of perpetual and beautiful 
significance and moral usefulness. And one of the particular lessons 
which it would be fitted to be forever impressing on the minds of 
those observing it, would be this, that the world, at all events the 
Christian world, ought, sooner, to see the great open secrets of God's 
justice and of man's duty toward his brother man. 

From the "Evangelist," New York City, Feb. 2S, 1895.] 

The splendor of a great name borne by one who was born a slave and 
put himself in the front rank of philanthropy and patriotism, beside 
such men of mark as William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips, 
who made friends of poets like Whittier and Lowell, of Emerson, the 
philosopher and critic, of Holmes, most brilliant of modern essayists 
and of Sumner, the Bayard of anti-.slavery reform, is the sufficient 
eulogy of one who has lately passed from life in the fullness of years 
and the ripeness of well-earned renown. Douglass was a free man 
before the war of emancipation. He was already named as one of the 
great abolitionists, when by a law of the Congress of the United States 
he fell under ban as a fugitive .slave and was ransomed like a recent 
plantation rvmaway. This redemption of a man who had fought his 
way up from the lowest grade of bondman to the dignity of champion 
and advocate of his race before the whole civilized world, proved 
what Sumner had propounded in the Senate as the essential, intrinsic 
barbarism of slavery. When Anthony Burns was taken by slave hunters 
in the streets of Boston, and Dred Scott was handed over in Missouri 
to his captors, by a Supreme Court decision, the end of forbearance 
had come, the limit of endurance was passed, the slave power had 
humiliated the nation. In those days it was necessary for politicians 
to "trim ship" with extraordinary vigilance and adroitness. To them 
Douglass seemed a spectre of defeat. If he lifted those once manacled 
arms before the people, even before they caught the tremulous tones of 
his magical voice, they were swayed by uncontrollable emotion. Once 
in the old Broadway Tabernacle, filled up to the dome, as Douglass 
was announced, the vast crowd sprang up as one man, and the Mar- 
seillaise hymn, with a refrain "free soil, free speech, free press, free 
men," rolled out through doors and windows, blocking the street with 
lingering listeners for a hundred yards either way. Meauwhile 


Douglass stood with bowed head, great tears coursing down liis cheeks. 
"It is the angel of divine compassion and forgiveness!" sobbed one 
of the fifty vice-presidents of the meeting. But the avenging angel 
was on the way. Less than five years after that day the Massachusetts 
soldiers marched by, singing: 

"He hath sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat, 
He is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment seat, " 

while the whole city held its breath and strong men wept aloud. 

In this way we can call Douglass the forerunner of emancipation. 
The great and terrible Civil War was to vindicate our unity as a 
nation. But the way for Lincoln was made clear by Douglass, and 
those who stood with him for freedom. He was no Spartacus. He fought 
Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry with all his might. He was for aboli- 
tion by law and not by force. He had the sublime patieuce which 
made Lincoln and Washington so strong and so triumphant. He knew 
he was right and he could aiford to wait. Now all men can see how 
State sovereignty and slavery, which it strove to defend, went out 

There was a certain moral grandeur in the position of Douglass 
which imparted a peculiar elevation to his character. He was an 
interesting study up to the end of his long life; but in the times 
which naturally pushed him to the front, he was something the like 
of which we had never seen before. Whence hath this man wisdom, 
whence these majestic traits? Heredity could not answer, for he never 
knew his parentage. He sprang from the depths of slavedom to be a 
witness against the system and for the slave. The freedmen owe more 
to Douglass than they can know. Our people were not blind to the 
perils of emancipation, nor to the difficulties of the problem we are 
still trying to solve. Whatever constitutional rights the freedmen have 
to-day were granted on the faith we had in such manhood as Douglass 
developed before our eyes. He was a sort of Colossus, over whom, as 
fulcrum, the friends of the negro threw the lever of citizenship in 
order to uplift the race. And now our appeal to them is not on the 
ground of their color or their previous condition, as if this or that 
gave them inalienable claims against all obligation of virtue and char- 
acter, but it is on the fact of such a man and such a life, to be their 
model and inspiration. There is no citizenship without obligation. 
What Douglass did in spite of outward ob.stacles, the men of his race, 
in their way, must do against indolence and indulgence, if they would 
prove their birthright and wear liberty's crown! 

312 Ii\ ME3T0RIAM. 

From the "Christian World, " Strand, London, England, Feb. 28, 1895.] 

Millions of colored people throughout the United States are mourning 
the sudden death of Frederick Douglass, ex-slave, great orator and 
fearless champion of his race. His funeral took place in Rochester, 
New York. All business was suspended and the whole population, 
with thousands who had flocked in, were among the mourners. 

I saw Frederick Douglass at Chicago two summers ago, and I thought 
then, as I think now, that the human race can scarcely have produced 
a nobler specimen of humanity in any age or nation. Imagine a 
figure, tall, dignified, commanding, a great head, in shape not alto- 
gether unlike that of John Bright, but seeming to be much more 
massive, surmounted by thick bushy hair, as white as the driven snow, 
and showing with such striking effect against the dark brown of his 
smiling face. As we sat side by side in the Unitarian church, listen- 
ing to the not unmusical voice of Rev. Jenkin Lloyd Jones, lecturing 
us on "Zoroaster," the warm sunshine of that beautiful morning 
seemed all the brighter for the sunny presence of this royal man in 
whom two races had combined to equip a hero. 

■ Modern history affords no parallel to the career of Douglass. A 
slave, lashed and scarred, without a name, merely one amougst a herd 
of animals, beasts of burden, on the estate of the lordly planter — 
United States Marshal, entrusted with the care of the President and 
the President-elect, in the most important ceremony of American life, 
and Minister of the great Republic to a distant State — truly the con- 
trast is startling and wonderful. Riches, honor and power failed to 
spoil him ; big and brave and tender-hearted, his later life was as beau- 
tiful in its modesty and quiet strength, as those early years of storm and 
stress and passion were splendid with battle and with victory. His 
letters to me, to the very last, have been charged with an affectionate 
gratitude to the English people for all their sympathy with an op- 
pressed people, and have breathed a cheerful faith in the good time 
coming for his race. 

Great-souled champion of a distressed but noble people, that voice 
which no tyranny which ever yet defied high heaven could silence, 
when right was to be defended or wrong defied, is not yet dumb ! It 
was the name of Douglass which opened the hearts of the British 
people to Miss Wells, when that lady came to us unfriended and un- 
known. And as the weak are crushed down by the strong, as often as 
the oppressed cry to us for succor, whenever men with black skins are 
foully treated by men with white, in the Southern States by Ameri- 
cans, or in South Africa by Englishmen, the spirit of Frederick 
Douglass will inspire our demand for liberty and right. What Words- 
worth said of Toussaint L'Ouverture, the hero of the Black Republic, 


dying broken-hearted in that dreary Besaiicon dungeon, we say of this 
great soul, whose memory is the heritage of the world ; 

"Thou hast left behind 

Powers that will work for thee, air, earth and skies! 

There's not a breathing of the common wind 

That will forget thee; thou hast great allies 

Thy friends are exultations, agonies. 

And love and man's unconquerable mind. " 

Charles F. Aked. 

From the "Freeman, " Indianapolis, Iml., March 2, 1895.] 

"The front of Jove himself; 

An eye like Mars, to threaten and command; 

A station like the herald Mercury, 

New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill; 

A combination, and a form, indeed. 

Where every god did seem to set his seal. 

To give the world assurance of a man. "—Coriolanus. 

"How long thine ever-! 

"He gave his honors to the world again. 

His blessed part to heaven — and slept in peace." — Henry I'lII. 

"His was a giant's robe, who shall put it on?" 

In the death of Frederick Douglass, the family of mankind, regard- 
less of race, geographic division, form of government, creed or flag, 
has suffered a loss. 

When, nearly eightj' years ago on the eastern shore of Maryland, he 
was ushered into existence, the progeny of a slave mother and the 
chattel of a free father, it is nowhere on record that his birth was 
heralded by the clang of bells, the blare of trumpets, or other cere- 
monies usually resorted to in announcing the successful accouchement 
of an heir of royalty. Yet the world has long .since reached the con- 
clusion and so recorded it, to be known of all posterity that at that 
time there was born in a slave's cabin in Maryland, near the Atlantic's 
ceaseless roar and break, a king of men ; copper-colored, of matchless 
symmetry of limb and brawn, big-boned, big-hearted, his baby 
cranium crow'ned with a suit of hair like "any lamb's wool," and 
whose plain title after the ceremony of naming had been attended to, 
was merely "Frederick Douglass" — for short, Fred Douglass. 

You ask where, upon what page in the list of heraldry, as declared and 
prepared by man, his name may be found and his antecedents vouched 
for, and we answer, this dead scion of nobility had no need of 


vouchers of this ilk, he was noble "bj' the right of an earlier crea- 
tion," a king "by the imposition of a mightier hand" than that of any 
man. The business of his soul, the theme to which the mission of 
his life was attuned and consecrated, was as broad as humanity, and 
in touch with all the woes that beset and pursue the children of man- 
kind of whatever hue, sex or clime. 

He loved his race, sympathized with its woes, compassionated its 
sorrows, and strove unremittingly through all the years of his respon- 
sible existence to alleviate its distresses and release it from the thongs 
that bore it down ; not alone because he was born a slave and felt his 
country's guilt in his hampered life and unfortuitous environments, 
but more; that in his nature, the springs that gave it direction, the 
grains that composed its quality, he was an animated, breathing, living 
protest against wrong. 

Had he been of the dominant race, blessed with the same masterful 
humane intellect, the same fine equipoise of soul, feeling a stain like a 
wound, the same lion heart and prescience of vision that marked him 
as the foremost man of his race, we do not believe but that the course 
of his life, the trend of his opinion and action, as regards the great 
moral questions to which his name is inseparable, would have been 
the same. 

The statesman differs from the politician, the mere serving man of 
party expediency, in that, while the plaudits and praises of the crowd 
are apt to be quickly and fulsomely bestowed upon the latter, they are, 
if not entirely withheld, grudgingly extended to the former. 

Above any other man of his race, living or dead, Mr. Douglass was 
worthy to don the toga of statesmanship, and for many years in his 
life the penalty exacted of him by his own people for this distinction 
was such, that a smaller man would have long since been broken- 
hearted, crushed and forgotten. 

Among the, not a few, members of his race who, within the last 
fifty years, have won for themselves certain degrees of prominence, 
deserved and otherwise, this man, around whose grave, within a day 
or two, a nation has expressed its lamentations and a race shed its 
tears of grief, was the most abused of any of his contemporaries, the 
most maliciously misunderstood and pursued with malice, envy and 
downright cussedness aforethought, of any negro called upon to bear 
the travail of race, pleading as it was not possible for any of his 
fellow battlers to plead, at the bar of human sympathy for respite and 

"Foul libel slimed him o'er with its exhalations. 

And he . . . suffered unmoumed, 

The envenomed sting of double distilled calumny." 

Recent panegj'ric has dubbed him the "saviour of his people," the 
"Moses of his race," the "negro's greatest friend," etc., but the 


servicts of his grand life, if apparently invoked for a class, were, 
after all, a boon to all. He was, in a sense, just as much a saviour, a 
Moses and friend of the white man in America, joined like Ephraim 
of old to his iniquities and selfish conceptions of justice, as he was to 
the race that to-day guards his ashes as its own. No more reassuring 
spectacle has been afforded the friends of right in the new world 
since the landing of the kidnapped Africans at Jamestown in 1619, 
than the picture of the members of both races in our great common- 
wealth, vieing one with the other in doing honor to the memory of 
an ex-slave and member of a broken and maimed race. There is, 
however, no aristocracy of genius or special classification based upon 
color and condition among the throng who kneel at its shrine. Like 
death, it 

' ' Levels all ranks. 
And places the shepherd's crook beside the sceptre." 

It is not probable the race will produce a successor to Mr. Douglass, 
for the reason that for the mission he seemed born to discharge, no 
successor is needed. The conditions once surrounding the negro iu 
America, that aroused the young lion of his tribe, moving his soul 
with indignant fervor and his lips with the power of an eloquence 
weird and irresistible, has passed, never to return. 

Men of the stamp of Frederick Douglass, commanding, overshadow- 
ing, "really great," are, compared to the breathing, teeming millions 
of earth, few and far between. They seem to be vouchsafed, for a 
brief space, to come and go in the haunts of men, about one in a 
hundred years, to either mark the beginning or close, or both, of an 
epoch, and by their life-work and consecrated devotion blaze the way 
for coming generat'ons. 

In the new emancipation that must come to the negro in America, a 
freedom from the tyranny of commercial and labor caste, which to-day 
confronts and challenges at every turn bis right to earn his bread iu 
the sweat of his brow, God grant that somewhere in the ranks of the 
race a second Douglass may be forthcoming, all puissant, armed cap- 
a-piCy and that we the people, whose rights and dues he shall contend 
for, will be constrained not to wait for the presence of death's sable 
messenger to crown him with flowers and sprinkle him with perfumes. 
W. Aluson Sweeny. 


From the " Strassburg Post," Strassburg, Germany, March i, 1895.] 

^rebcrid ^augla§. 

ein ©rinnerungSblatt Bon 2lffcf[or Dr. $ir|ci? in Slltfirc^. 

aim 20. 5ycbruor 1895 ift in 3(nocoftia in ben Screinigtcn Staaten eincr bet 
intereffanteftcn unb Serbienteften S3iirgcr bcr grofecn transatlantifc^cn ;Hcpublif 
gcftorben, Jvrcberict, ober TOie man ifjn briibcn mit SBorliebe nannte, Jreb 
Souglafe. ©ie icerbcn ben Sianien bcS 2)lanne§ TOotjt noc^ nic gclefen f»oben, 
oerebrter Sefer ; ebenfc crging eg inbeffen aucfj mir big jum ©pmmer beg 3a^«^ 
1893, l»al;rcnb bcffcn ic^ mic^ getegentlic^ eineS mefjrmonatlic^en Slufcntljaltcg 
in ben Sereinigten Staatcn aug (jotjularcn ®cfcJ)icf)tglBetfcn iibet entlDicfhmg 
unb ^olitit biefcg Sanbcg ju belcbren ^udjte. 33ei biejcr ©elegen^cit fiel mit 
ein bidcg 33ud) in bie |)dnbe, bctitcit ,,The Great Men of the United States." 
ffiagfelbe tear gcjiert mit ben Silbern bet berii^mteftcn 3(mericaner, beren 
Sebenggefc^i^te in turjen 3Borten erjci^It trurbe. 9tuf einem bet Ic^ten SIdttet 
befanb fic^ bag 33ilb cineg 5)hilattcn, eineg ,, coloured gentleman." Sci bet 
grofecn Stntitsat^ie, toelc^e bie ?)an!ecg gcgen bie Sof)ne SIfricag l^egen, mufete 
biefeg SBilb felbftBerftonbtid; belonbcrg auffaUen. 

3cb lag bie Sebengbeld^reibung, beren furjer 5"^alt cttea barin befte^t, bafe 
S)ouglo6 im 'Ja^re 1817 in ben SSereinigtcn ©tauten alg ©o^n eineg weifeen 
Slnfieblerg unb eincr Jlegerftlatiin geborcn, bann Son feinem eigenen Sater in 
bie ©flaDcrci Derfauft iDurbe ; feinem .'oerrn, bcr ifjn mit ^priigeln unb 5(5eitfdjen= 
^ieben ttactirte, enttief ; mit Jpilfe guter 2)!enfc^en norf) (Jnglanb enttam, bort 
burdf feine geiftoollen Sortrage iibcr bie ©tiabenfrage otigemeincg 3luffc^en 
crregtc unb fic^ bie TOittel berfd;afftc, fid; logjutaufen. Sm ^afjre 1845 nad^ 
atmerica juriidgefc^rt, Wirtte er in SBcrt unb ©c^rift fiir bie ©ttatienbefreiung, 
unb alg bann ber ©ieg bet Jiorbftaatcn bie ©!Ioberei fiit immer befeitigt l^atte, 
tDurbc er, ber frii^ere ©tlaDe, ju ben pdiften (Jfjren berufen. Gr iBurbc nadjf 
cinanber 3)iitglieb beg Ccngrcffeg, StaatSfenator, SBaMmann fiir bie $rafi= 
bentent»af)l, Weneraleinne^mer unb fc^liefjtid; ©efanbter in §al;ti. 3Ug gefin= 
nunggtreuer J(et5ubIifoner muf,te er, atg ber Semofrat Elebelanb im 5J!arj 1893 
bag 31mt beg iprdfibenten antrat, fcinen ipoften serloffen. ©oroeit bie £ebeng= 

3m Suit 1893 lag i(^ in einet ei(>icagDer Sfi'ung «i"^ f"i^3« ''"tij/ bafe bag 
©taatggebaube don £)at;ti im SlugfteUunggpart unter entfprec^enben g-eierlic^f eiten 
bur^ eine grijffnunggrebe beg Eomniiffarg grebcrirf Souglofe inaugurirt Ivorben 
fei. Sa bie Dieger — unb bie Gintoo^ner toon ^a\)i\ finb, »ie bctannt, jum grogten 
Scile 3Jeger — bie ®eloo^nl[>cit ^aben, fid^ nac^ grofecn flidnnern ju benennen, 
fo na^m ic^ an, bag ber betreffenbe Gommiffar ein unfreiluilligcs ^atentinb bon 
5^reb ©ougla^ fei. ©(jdter aber bbrte ic^ ganj jufdltig, baft bie 3Kdnner Bon 
^laBti, bie ,, darkies," bcncn oud) Gonful SBiinj in Gl^icago, IBcldier Borl^er in 
^oliti Seutfdilanb Bertrcten fiatte, ein rii^mlidjeg Bcugnig augfteUtc, ben 
friiberen americanifcben Siiilomatcn mit ibrer Settretung auf bcr World's Fair 
bcauftragt l^atten. 


ta e§ mid) intcreifirtc, bic t)erfiinlicf;c SBctanntfdjaft biefcS Uebetbleibfcld 
eincr fdjmad^uoUen 3cit ju madicn, bcgab xi) mic^ eiiicd XagcS in ben ^!al>itIon 
Don .ftatiti unb lief; burd; ben ticfeufiroficn fdmiarjen 2f)iirfteber nieine fiartc fiir 
Souglafs abciebcn. SLUiglafe empftnci niidi in fcinem Salon, einent grcjien, 
einfac^ aber mit ©eidjniad eingeridUcton Siaunic, bcffen ^Jfbbel nu§ loeftinbi(d)en 
.■pijljern gefertigt tuaren unb beffen grbfite^ iStiid cin mrtdjtiger, hjie mir 
2>pugla6 tm Saufc ber Untcr^altnng erjii^lte, ebcnfal!^ in .^aliti nngefertigtev 
JVIiigel bilbete. SouglaJ! bcgriif>tc mid) mit ben ffiorten, et fteue fid), eiiieu 
3Kann bei fic^ ju fe[;en, tvcldjer in Seutidjlanb ).iromoBirt ^abe, ift bed), loic er 
mir fagtc unb tvie id) toabrenb meineS 3lufentl)iiltes btiiben mc^r a\^ etnmal 
beftiitigt fanb, ber Soctcrtitel in 3lmcrica burd) bic ii'ie ^ilje em^orfc^iegenben 
bortigen Uniuerfitiiten ftart in 9J!ificrebit getcmmen. 

aSafircnb luir un§ iiber bieg unb jeneei unterl)ielten, nal)m id) (yelegenl?cit, 
Souglajj gcnaucr ju betrad)ten. S!on f)iic^ragcnber, uom Slltcr nid)t gebcugter 
©eftalt Hon rocnigftcn^ 1,90 a)Jeter .'i>lihe, mit fc^necmeifiem Sollbart, langem 
tuallenben i.'odent)aar unb einem tabcllofen, blenbenb loeiftcn Webifi, mad)te cr 
cfier ben (Sinbrud cine^ angcljenben ®cd)§3iger§, a\i eincS Sec^'ounbftcbensigs 

Son beiben (Sltern f)atte er djarafteriftifd)e SJiertmale ; loar fein gonjeg ffiefen, 
namentlit^ bie ftolje iio\ji ©rfdietnung ganj bic cines Stautafiere, fo Derrict 
onberfeitg bie tiefbraune (SJcficf^tSfarbc unb bie c^arotteriftifcbe, iflaiit 9tcgernafe 
bie africanifcbc TOuttcr. 

S)ougla^ ift, trie bie meiften gebilbeten Slmcricancr, bSufig auf 9!eifen ges 
Wefcn. 3luf;er Gnglanb tannte er Jranfrcid) unb Stalien genauer. Seine 
6c^luarmcrci nbcr loaren @ried)cnlanb unb 3lcgii^iten. 3n bcibcn Viinbern 
l)atte cr toicborbolt geiocilt, beiber Gie(d)ic^tc unb 3lntifen luaren i^m genau 

3c^ fragte xtyx, ob cr in Seutfd)lanb gcioefen fei, wai er wrnciutc, loicipot)! 
er fd)on auS bem (Srunbc gerne l)ingeretft luare, um auf bcutjc^em iBoben ein 
bcutfc^es Sieb unb bcutfdjc Shifit ju tjbrcn. ,,£ic miiffcn tniffcn, licbcr Soctor, 
fiir "Biufif bin id) felbft ein Scutfdjer." 'Jn "^Jarentbefe barf Wot)! aucb barnn 
crinnert wcrben, bafe bie Slmcricaner in i^rer gro§en fic^rficit son aufriditigcr 
Scgciftcrung fiir beutfcbe lllufif erfiiut finb, beftimmte bod) aud) ber 
im 'Jabre 1893 burd) 3]!brbcrt)anb gefallcnc Siirgcrmciftcr Don G[)icago, (Sarter 
Jgorrifon, cin SoIIblutamericancr mit alien Sorjiigen unb iveblern eineg 
fold)en, unter ben Sl'langen eineg beutfd)en CiebcS jur le^tcn 9!ube gebettet ju 

aSaljrcnb icir ung unterl^iielten, betrat cin pbfc^er junger 3J!nnn ton etnm 25 
Sabrcn tai 3tmmcr, ben mir Souglag ol§ ben ^yiiann eincr (Snfelin BcrftcUte. 
S)er jungc 3Jiann loar ouc^ ein , .coloured gentleman," namlid) cin Duarterone 
(anifc^ling bon aBcipen unb aUitatten). Sic Sicgierung Don §at)ti b""*' U'" 
feincm ©rogbater attod)irt, unb bas erfte, wonon cr fprad), ivaren Scutfd)-- 
lonbg Grfdge auf ber l5olumbifd)cn Jlusftellung. fiiiernn fc^log ficb bann 
unmittelbar cine iSd)ilberung ber G'rfolge A^antis. ®er juiige TOnnn Helt mid) 
ftugenfc^einUc^ fiir einen Scijorter wni' tvoUtc nid)t Berfclilcn, mir einen SBlid 
Son §a^ti§ 3)Jad)t unb §crrltd)fett ju gcbcu. 


Unlet fetner unb 3)ougla6' giil^tung Wutbe bann ein Slimbgang burc^ bie 
SlusfteHung von §aljti gemod^t. Sid ju feftcn gab c3 aHerbingg nic^t, STaffee= 
fvicJc, ^roben Hon lBcftinbifd;cu §bljcrn, jpeciell 9)Jal^agom, ^alao- unb labat- 
t)fUingen morcn bo3 Sffiic^tigftc. Sanu faf; mon cine Sanbfarte mit ben 
lU'rbinbungSwcgen Don .^al^ti, bci SJctradjtung bcrcr mir Souglafe bemonftrirte, 
biifj man mtttelS eine^ ©d^neUbampfer^, roic ftc fiir bie tronsatlontifc^cn Ja^rten 
im Gcbrauc^ finb, in brei Jagcn toon 91eH)=9)ort nai) ^sort^au^^rince, ber 
j^ai^itftabt toon 6al;ti, gclangcn tonne. a>on ^ort=ou=^rince felbft, beffen 
yafcn einc frapijante 3lef)nli^feit mit bem Son SJeapel ^ot, ^ing ein prac^tiger 
iUan im $at)iUcn. 

i^d) war grabe boran, midj bei ben bcibcn §etren fiir i^te licbenSroiitbige 
5it()ning ju bcbanfcn, o[§ ein cttoa 20 '^a'i}:i alter ?)an(ee ouf ^reb Souglag 
^erantrot, itjm in impertinentU'crtraulidjet SCeife aitf bie ©coulter tlofsfte unb 
jagte : „.t>e, farbiger ©entlcman, ©ie finb IDO^I angeftcUt (engaged), um I)ier 
bie Sac^en ju jeigen. ^t\%tn ©ie mir boc^ au(^ ettoag t)on bem Srempel 

®a6 Souglafe ben (yiegcl mit SBiirbe unb $o^eit abfertigte, bcbarf WobI nod^ 
bem, maS id^ iibet ibu beric^tet ^abe, feiner toeiteren ermdi>mmg. ^ntcrcffant 
luar mir abcr, ttiie bag im ^fal'iUon aniDefenbe ^publicum bem Siingling juricf : 
„2Bif|en ©ie nic^t, bafe biejer Joert greb Souglafe ift?", unb bag ber Surfc^e 
fcuertot wurbe, feincn fiiut tief objog unb fic^ yd;leunigft au§ bem ©taube mad^tc. 

Sie Grfa^rungen, bie Souglafe gemad^t ^at, l^aben i^n, tropem er }h>eimal 
mit loeifeen g-rauen tjet^eiratct l»ar — feine SBitrce ift, toenn \ij nid)t irre, einc 
ti-ngldnberin — immcr mi Sagcr ber g-arbigen, beren berebtefter g-iirfprec^er cr 
allc 3eit geinefen ift, jnriidgetrieben. Slls folc^er ftel^it er aUen benen, bie i^n 
auf ben uieten Gongreffen lud^renb ber SluSftcUung IJiaben rebcn ^'ixtn, in leb^ 
I;aftcr Grinnerung.*) 

%m 9. Stuguft 1S93 [)iert in (E^icago ber IjSrofeffor SBeeK uom Xtinit^ Cottege 
in 3iortb=6arolino auf bem (Songreg fiir allgcmeineg ©timmrec^t einen Sortrag 
iiber bag ©timmredt^t ber Sieger in ben ©iibftaaten. ©eine SRebe gij)fcltc in ben 
©a^cn : 

„Gs War ein votitifdjer J^eljlgriff, ben 9}egcrn ©timmre(^t ju geioabrcn, benn 
fiir bie ffieigen ift bie ©timmfugcl ein Hampfmittel, fo ju fagen ein jcitgemager 
Grfa§ fiir bie 5'intentugel. Slnber'o ftobt ee mit bem Sieger. Gr ift feine 
Wampfnatur. 2)er Slngclfac^fe ift nidjt ber Hiann, ber fii^ untevroirft. Gt 
luirb nidit regicrt, fonbern er regiert felbft. Unb fo roirb e« audb in ben ©iib= 
ftaatcn fein. Scr aScifee tuirb unb mufj regieren. Gr fudbt fid^ bie ©ewolt 
buni) lautcre 3J!ittel ju fic^crn, abcr ivill unb mirb fierrf^en." 

Unb ba§ allcg tjcrtrat ber Iprofeffor mit Gifer unb Uebcrjcugung, Weil nad^ 
gijttlii^cm 9ied)t bie weif>e 3(affe jnm 5Ueberrfdien ber SBelt anserfetjen ift. 
Souglafi fafe an bem SorftanbStifdj. 3(!§ SCeeK feine ©a$e Bortrug unb bon 
ber Grbarmlid)feit ber Jtegcrraffe ju reben begann, ba flammten bie 3lugen be§ 
©reifeg unb a\i nac^ ©djlug Bon aCeef? 9Jebe ber SBorfi^cnbe Souglag bag 
2Bort erteilte, ba fdiien er trie ein Some, ber aug bem ©(^lafe geftort tuorben ift. 
©eine 77 '^a.'iixi isaren bergcffen, unb er trat an bie 5!cbnerbii^ne, fo line er eg 

*) Has folgcnbc ift eincm SK-ricbt ber ..( 2\mii'' uom 10. Slusufl 1893 eiitncmmen. 


vox 30 3al;rcn getJjan ^attc, o.\i n bcU ^ettigcr 33cgcifterung fiir bie G-inoncit)a= 
tion feiner SHoffe ba^ SttJort crgriff. (St nannte bcti 2lnttag bou SSccfS cine 
fii^Ie, troFitubctlcgte SScrteibigung ber groBten 9!tebertrdc6tigfcit, bic jcmalS an 
bcm SBi^rfc bcriibt t»orben fei. 'Jn jiinbenben SBottcn jerglicberte ct bie ganje 
Sicbe bon 2Bcct§. ©r fagtc : 

„5c^ ijaU iba^reub mcineS langen ScbcnS bie Crfa^rung gcmac^t, bag, wcnn 
immcr einc Sac^c jn niebrig unb ju gcmcin erfdjcint, urn mcnjc^lic^ 311 fein, 
bann tbrc atnl;dngcr fie mit gottlic^em Sicctft bcgriinbcn. '^trcfcffor 2BeeK fagt 
iinS, bajj bie Serrfdjaft bed luciSen S)lannc§ burc^ bie giittlidjc SBeltorbnung 
bcftimmt fei, unb befc^reibt bie 9)iittel, Wic ba§ gijttlidie Siec^t U'ieber 511 ®[;ten 
gebrac^t iverben lann. (St fagt, bie Skger tcnnen nidit Iant))fen 9iic^t 
tdinpfen ? Unb bod; loar tio.% erfte Slut, ba§ fiir bie greifjcit ber 9Iation auf 
Sun!er §ia (§iigcl bet SBoftcn, anf bent am 17. ^uni 1775 eine blutige Sc^Ioci^t 
jiBifdjen aintcricanern unb Gnglanbcrn ftattfanb) bergoffen n.nirbe, ba§ eineg 
5varbigcn. 3)a§ erfte Shit, tbClcficS in ben Stra^en bon Siofton in ben lagen 
ber Slebolution bcrgoffcn wurbe, tbar ba§ eine>3 "Jarbigen. Unb atg bie 9Uebcr: 
lagc unbcnneiblid; erfcbien, al5 ber DJorben cntmutigt unb berjagt tbar tmb al§ 
^srafibcnt Sinccin feincn ©ilferuf an bie ^arbigen crge^en liefe, ba fatnen fie 
^cran, jtbeimaltjunbcrttaufenb ilijpfc ftart." 

Unb fo berteibigtc ber (5irci§, erregt bis ing innerftc ©emitt butd^ bie SBortc 
beg (Segnervo, mit feinev Cuergie bint bamalg ben Jteget unb feine 9Jknfc^enred;te. 
Sie grofee §c>rer)c^aft ibar uicbt UH'niger ergriffen als ber Sicbner fclbft, unb oIS 
er bon ber Sergangen^icit fj^rad), bon ben Jiclbentfjatcn ber 3ieger, ben Seiben 
unb Cunlen, bie i^nen Si^^Icrglaubc unb SBornirt^eit auferlegt fatten, ba 
toarcu alle, 3)2anner unb g-raucn, ju Itjranen gerii^rt utib fpcnbeten bem gott= 
bcgnabetcit SJebner ftiirmifcbcn Seifall. 

31un ift ber berebte 9Jhinb fiir immcr gefc^Ioffen, unb ber tbaderc Strciter fiir 
bic grei!;eit beg 3J!enfdicngcid)Ied)ts ift abberufen reorben in jeneS feme tanti, 
ibo ber SiSeifee nidjt lucbr gilt als ber garbige. 

From the "Outlook," New York City, March 2, 1895.] 

A race is to be measured, not by its lower strata, nor even by its 
average men, but by its exceptional geniuses. If we wish to know 
what the French nation is capable of, we turn to the lives of Voltaire, 
Mirabeau, Napoleon, Moliere, Victor Hugo. If we ask of what the 
Anglo-Saxon race is capable, we turn to the lives of Bacon, Shakes- 
peare, Milton, Cromwell, Gladstone. If we ask of what the negro 
race is capable, we turn to the characters and the careers of such men 
as Toussaint L'Ouverture and Frederick Douglass. The latter has estab- 
lished for all his race, the capacity of the negro to receive and benefit 
by education, to be more than slave or serf, to l)e orator and journalist, 
to be a man of power and a gentleman of refinement. >Such a career 
as his is worth more in answer to the question, "Of what is the negro 
race capable," than volumes of cynical and pessimistic theory. 


From the " Methodist, " Philadelphia, Pa., March 2, 1895.] 

The career of Frederick Douglass was one of the most notable in our 
history. In person he was tall and broad-shouldered, his skin of an 
olive color; dignified without affectation, courtly but natural in man- 
ner; his eyes dark and brilliant, his forehead well shaped, but not 
distinctive; his nose long and nostrils distended. The entire expres- 
sion of his face was an epitome of good will to men. The first time 
we heard him speak was in the delivery of his lecture on "Our Com- 
posite Nationality." The discussion of his theme was on a high plane 
— comprehensive, analytical, clear, dispassionate, patriotic, forcible. 
The last time we saw him was at the New University reception in 
\V;ishington, D. C. , during the session of the Ecumenical Conference. 
Age had marked him, but not hardened one genial line of his 
countenance. His work was done. It remains but to recognize it as 
well done. 

From the "Boston Pilot," Mass., March 2, 1895.] 

He was a self-taught man, and rose to high distinction as an orator 
and writer. He held important offices, and compelled the respect for 
his mental ability, which was denied him because of his color. We 
have had many and striking instances of what may be achieved in this 
free country by men who began the struggle at the very foot of the 
social ladder. Abraham Lincoln being most conspicuous of all; but 
here was a man who began limitless depths below the bottom ruiig far 
down beneath the lowest layer of the social surface as defined by the 
sacred mark of color. No thanks to our free institutions that he 
emerged from that subterranean abyss. But for his undaunted energy, 
he might have lived and died a poor degraded beast of burden. 

Human slavery is abolished forever, and its abolition was slow 
enough in coming. Some day in the remote future, men will be as 
much a.shamed of recognizing distinctions of color or race, socially, as 
they would be to-day of advocating a restoration of old-time slavery. 
Prejudice dies hard, and the most inveterate prejudices are those which 
have the least rational excuse for being, that founded on the tint of 
skin being the most abominable and absurd of all. 

Editorial from the Detroit "Tribune," Michigan, March 4, 1895.] 

He has ranked with great statesmen, great orators, great reforme 
and leaders of great social movements. 

He was the friend of Sumner; he was sought in counsel by Lincob 
he was appointed to honorable station by Grant, and sent abroad 


our national representative by Harrison. What a remarkable chattel 
■was this! What a millennium stretches between 1S45 and 1895! He 
stood then as one of four millions of like chattels, who, as was 
decided more than ten years later, had "no rights which white men 
were bound to respect." Four millions of men and women without 
legal family ties; without lawful claim to the fruits of their own labor 
or of their own bodies; without the possibility of ownership of prop- 
erty, or the control of their personal liberty. The bodies of their 
women at the disposal of their lustful master; the children subject to 
be torn from the arms of the mother, and sold on the auction block ; 
the men who sought to make real the doctrine of our great magna 
charta that "all men are created equal," hunted down by blood- 
hounds, and lacerated with the cruel lash. Such was American slavery 
fifty years ago, protected by the Constitution and the laws. 

Frederick Douglass was one of the orators of the volcano that was 
even then boiling and seething beneath the American republic, 
destined soon to rend the nation and overflow in a fiery flood of 
scorching and consuming lava. He was more. He was himself one 
of the forces that brought on the upheaval. He was the voice of one 
crying in the wilderness, crying prepare ye the way of the Lord, make 
his paths straight. Few things and few men had more to do with the 
awakening of the conscience of the people against the infernal system 
of slavery than this living, speaking, burning chattel, arisen out of 
the depths of its infamy. Between that bill of sale and the honors 
paid to that chattel in these last days stretches the greatest halfcentury 
of the world's history. In the procession of the years we see the forms 
of many great men — now passed away — and many great events now 
crystallized into the world's progress. Much of it he was. And when 
his work was completed, how gently the messenger came ! Still in 
the full possession of his powers; still busy with his great plans for 
the progress of his race, suddenly he was summoned. Millions, not 
only of his own race, but of the race that oppressed his people, honor his 
memory. What an epoch it marks ! 

From the "Presbyterian Journal," Philadelphia, Pa., March 7, 1S95.] 
The death of Frederick Douglass removed the most prominent Afro- 
American of the land. He had a most remarkable record. As has 
been said "He rose from the slime of the sea with a stone on his head 
and a shark at his back." He came to exhibit some of the noblest 
qualities of the two races from which he sprang. He was among the 
first of the colored race to be listened to by white audiences. This was 
over fifty years ago, and when only a short time out of slavery. His 
words of silvery eloquence made him a telling and forcible orator. It 
was his passionate utterances, arousing enthusiasm wherever he went 

322 m MEMORIAM. 

that to a great extent kiudled the anti-slavery spirit in New England. 
He was the forerunner of emancipation and did much to prepare the 
way for it. And it is true that the freedmen owe more to Douglass 
than they can know. He was at the time of his death, which occurred 
February 20, seventy-eight years of age. We read that, not since the 
unveiling of the Lincoln Emancipation statue, in 1878, has there been 
such a popular outpouring of colored people to pay tribute to a bene- 
factor of their race as was witnessed in and about the Metropolitan 
African Methodist Church, of Washington, where the funeral services 
were held. All the leading colored men of the city took active part 
in the ceremonial observances. Mr. John Hutchin.son, white-haired 
and white-bearded, the last of the famous Hutchinson family of Abo- 
litionist singers, who, with his sister, accompanied Mr. Douglass to 
England on his mission against slavery, took part in the services, and 
told some touching little stories of his life-long friendship with the 
deceased, and then sang two requiem solos. 

From the "Chicago Western Newspaper Union," Chicago, March 16, 


Physically, mentally and morally, Mr. was a grand specimen 
of manhood, and any race might be proud to claim him as a represen- 
tative. Notwithstanding his unpopular complexion, he was decidedly 
good looking, and was one who would attract attention under any 
circumstances and in any crowd. As an orator and thinker he ranked 
among the best in the land, though slave-born and excluded from the 
advantages of education, and he had a command of the English 
language that was marvelous in its perfection. Few persons can write 
and speak equally well, and still fewer excel in both writing and 
speaking. Mr. Douglass was one of the latter. Many of the greatest 
authors utterly fail when they attempt to make a speech, and there 
are orators who lose all their power when they put pen to paper. In 
Mr. Douglass was found a pleasing combination of the author and the 
orator. He entered the arena of reform with Garrison and Phillips 
and Rogers and Gerritt Smith, and in debate he was the peer of the 
strongest men who dared to measure lances with him. Sneered at, 
hissed, mobbed, stoned, assaulted, he stemmed the tide and came off 
conqueror. When it was dangerous for white men even to speak the 
truth on the question of slavery, he did not equivocate or palliate the 
evil, with soft words. He lifted up his voice like a trumpet, and 
told the people of their transgressions. He lived to see the fruition of 
his hopes, to see the slaves freed from the chains and to see them 
vindicate their manhood, their courage and their patriotism, in the 


Durine; the war he was one of the safest counsellors of Abraham 
Lincoln, of all of whose counsellors, none, probably were more welcome 
than Douglass. Through the latter's efforts, Massachusetts was the first 
to put colored soldiers in the field, and the first colored men to enlist 
in the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth colored regiments of that State were 
two of Mr. Douglass' sons. 

After the close of the war the great question before the people was, 
"What shall be done with the freedmen?" And to the solution of 
this question Mr. Douglass devoted himself most assiduously, knowing 
that every advantage would be taken of the defenceless — because 
ignorant — condition, by the scheming politicians. His efforts were, 
in the main, devoted to bringing order out of the chaos that existed in 
the States in late rebellion and which were overrun with men and 
women but just now getting their first taste of freedom. He sought to 
impress upon those in power the necessity for preparing the manu- 
mitted slaves to enjoy the blessings of citizenship, by inculcating the 
spirit of industrial independence. 

From the Topeka "Daily Capital," Topeka, Kansas, March i6, 1S95.] 

The death of Frederick Douglass suggests the oration of Wendell 
Phillips on the great negro soldier Toussaint L'Ouverture, and it has 
called forth, as was to be expected, much discussion of the progress 
and place of the colored race in the last thirty years. 

Much has been said of the negro as orator and politician ; much of 
what has been done for him and what he has achieved for himself in 
education and in adjusting himself to his .surroundings as a man and 
a citizen; but we have seen nothing about the negro as a soldier. 

Yet there is no line in which the colored race in this country has 
shown greater adaptability than the line of military life. The best 
soldiers that the United States has to-day are its colored troops. They 
are the least addicted to the liquor habit. They are the cleanliest 
soldiers in the army; they are not behind in discipline; they have a 
splendid pride in the service; they are obedient, courageous and 

At the close of the Chicago .strike in 1S94, Colonel Burt of the 
Twenty-fifth United States Infantry, said of the conduct of the colored 
regiment detailed for duty during the strike: 

' ' I never saw such detached service as these colored men rendered 
during the strike. But one man had to be even reprimanded during 
the whole month of that trying service. They did their duty as sol- 
diers, and obeyed orders implicitly. They did not talk but referred 
everybody to their ofiicers, and behaved under the trying circumstances 
better than I have ever known white troops to do. In fact they are 
ideal soldiers, and all their officers are vei-y proud of them. There 


were many reckless men in the strike trouble who thought that they 
could intimidate the negro soldiers, while others thought that they 
could easily manage them by treating. lu both attempts they failed. 
The colored soldiers knew their duty and they did it so courageously 
and so courteously that they soon won the respect even of the strikers. 

' 'As for fighting, they will follow an officer wherever he leads and 
they will do whatever they are commanded, without fear. I could 
march these four companies into certain death, and not a man would 
flinch or hesitate. 

"As for discipline, I can but refer you to the report of the Acting 
Inspector General of the Department, made last October. He made 
official report to the commander of the Department, expressing the 
belief that this colored battalion is one of the most effective bodies of 
infantry in the country." 

Army oflBcers are not in the habit of publishing fulsome praises of 
their men, and this tribute from Colonel Burt is high testimony to the 
worth of the colored soldiers. Their conduct during the exasperating 
circumstances of the Debs strike, has been applauded by others besides 
officers. The colored soldiers of Uncle Sam are not only a credit to 
their race, but to their country also. 

From the "Christian Recorder, Philadelphia, Pa., April i8, 1895.] 

In whomsoever true greatness or excellence inheres, it is remark- 
able to what extent the hero-loving instinct of men will assert itself. 
This impulse is both indomitable and universal. From time im- 
memorial it has had its exponents, even though it be necessary at 
times to overleap caste barriers or uproot race prejudices in order to 
secure them. It is for this reason that Moses has not been left for the 
Jews alone, but for that larger humanity he blessed to do him honor. 
The same is true of Socrates and pre-eminently true of that Sovereign 
Benefactor whose life, in the event of its being lifted up, was pledged 
to draw all men unto himself. 

In this universal fact of the meeting of the race varieties upon some 
plane, broad and royal enough to afford each a footing while uniting 
the whole in a common bond of taste and sympathy, is evidence 
enough that duty rather than separateness was the Divine thought in 
the plan of creation, and that the whole rather than the parts should 
concern men, as it has concerned their Maker. 

Representing so much of transcendent worth as he did, it is not 
strange that the world should claim Frederick Douglass. He was 
cosmopolitan, and not metropolitan ; hence it is equally befitting 
whether his fellows adorn his name with wreaths, or memorialize the 
same in brass or marble. That America, his native land, should even 
in its most illiberal sections, eulogize him as her son, rather than as a 


serf, shows her sensitiveness to the eternal fitness of things, and her 
disposition, though tardy, to exalt character in preference to color. 
Though late in coming to her senses, it is better than never; but to 
Mr. Douglass is due the credit after all, of her willingness to depart 
from the mourner's bench. 

There is one phase of the estimate of Mr. Douglass, to which the 
better thinking of all varieties will take prompt exception, and that 
is, the imputation of his greatness to the Caucasian element of his 
make-up and the dissociation of the negro from all that made him so 
remarkable. These truth dodgers would, in his case, reverse the facts 
of history, and present to the posterity of their conception, a Frederick 
Douglass of Anglo-Saxon identity. Of this, however, there need not 
be the slightest misgiving. Our race hero has ineflaceably stamped 
his impress upon all succeeding time. With his own hands and 
through generations of patient and pains-taking toil, he has reared a 
monument which no canker-worm can undermine, nor moth or rust 

Frederick Douglass' faith in God and the final triumph of the right, 
was the basis of his great moral strength. His religion was not a 
religion of creeds, churches, hymnals and prayer books, but he believed 
in precept, the life and practice as taught by the Master of "doing 
unto others as we would have others do unto us." It was the "cups of 
cold water in His name," "feed the hungry," "clothe the naked," 
not in professions of church phraseology and beautiful song, but in the 
example with love to our fellows and our neighbors as ourselves, 
which, after all, is the greatest and only evidence of our love to God. 
He believed that the professed religion of the American church was 
but a license not to practice the teachings of Christ, and hence, a 
mockery. To him there was a want of connection between the dialect 
of its religious phraseology, the sweet songs, the beautiful words and 
its outward life practice toward the poor and outcast, especially of his 
race. To him, all of Christ's teachings referred to life, and, if not in 
the example here, of no avail hereafter. 

From the "Review of Reviews," April, 1895.] 

The death of Frederick Douglass leaves little to be said. It has 
come in the fulness of time at the end of a rounded and noble career, 
the dignity and worth of which had won complete approval every- 
where. Mr. Douglass was one of the group of great American platform 
orators and reform leaders of the period when Phillips, Garrison, 
Beecher and the other giants of the anti-slaverj' movement were at the 
height of their work and fame. The fact that he had been a slave lent 
something of the same peculiar power to his impassioned appeals 
against slavery that John B. Goiigli's temperance addresses gained 


from his own confessions of former subjection to the slavery of drink. 
Mr. Douglass was one of the earliest and most constant of the workers 
for woman suffrage; and he and Susan B. Anthony might well be said 
to represent the hi.storic link between the anti-slavery and the suffrage 
movements. Mr. Douglass had been honored by the United States 
Government with several positions of dignity and emolument, and 
had, in every capacity, private and public, won the esteem of all who 
knew him. Throughout his long career he remained the constant and 
solicitous friend of the negro race in America, and his advice was 
almost invariably wholesome and shrewd. He was far more desirous 
to see the negro advance in education, moral strength, industrial 
capacity and the accumulation of property than in political directions. 




From the "Methodist, " Philadelphia, Pa., March 2, 1895.] 
A Reminiscence by Rev. J. H. Hargis, D. D. 

Now that over the newly -made grave of this essentially great man, 
even the Picayune, of New Orleans, calls in question the general 
estimate that he was the most eminent man of the negro race, which 
America has ever produced, only because of the white man's share in 
the claim to his greatness, by reason of the Saxon strain in his blood, 
conceding at the same time the undisputed proposition that Frederick 
Douglass was eminent as an orator, one may be pardoned, as an 
"Eastern Shore" Marylander, for pride in the rise and progress of 
Douglass, born a slave away down there at Tuckahoe, as he was. 

It was through another Eastern Shore man, the Rev. John D. Long, 
whose "Pictures of Slavery" had long before been published, that as a 
college student, passing through Philadelphia during the holidays of 
1S67, I was privileged, for the first time, to see the majestic form, and 
hear the eloquent voice of this uncrowned king, the Frederick the 
Great of his race. His lecture was on "The One Man Power," a 
phillipic against President Johnson, whom he accused of "sacrificing 
the only true friends we had in the South during the war to make 
peace with our euemie.s. " 

A sibilant sound from the far-off corner of the old National Hall on 
Market street greeted this utterance of the orator of the evening. In 
an instant Mr. Douglass' wrathful tones turned into pathetic appeals, as 
he caused, by the turn of his tongue, to pass before the minds eye of 
the immense audience a panoramic view of the battlefields whereon 
' ' the colored troops fought nobly. " "A h/ack wall of flesh then stood 
between your own peaceful firesides, my friends, and the fusilade that 
had followed the rebel yell." And so, in complete command of him- 
self and his audience, he went on to the climax in these words; "Ah, 
you are silent now {thrice repeated, ab into pcdore). Would to God 
the American people could learn to be true to the black boys in blue, 
even as they were true to you. When the very life of this nation was 
at stake, then there was room under the ample folds of the J!ag of the 
free hearts, hope for all its defenders." 

330 JN itEiWSIAM. 

The profound silence of the assembly was suddenly broken by cheer 
after cheer. 

On that occasion Douglass retrieved, out of seeming defeat, a 
decisive victory. His reception at the close was simply an ovation. 
No wonder that such a capable critic as my friend, Professor Trickett, 
was constrained to exclaim, while we wended our way out of the hall, 
"God set the seal of greatness on that man, and slavery could not stamp 
it out. ' ' For my part I have always been glad that I took notes that 
night, especially after a score or more of years had passed, and I 
heard, for the last time out here in Germantown, ' ' the old man elo- 
quent, " in his lecture on John Brown, to whom he paid tribute in 
this sententious style: "I could speak for the negro; John Browu 
could and did die iax him. " And when only the other day, the news 
was brought us that, on the announcement of his death, the legislature 
of a Southern State adjourned, came to a stand-still, I thought of the 
soul of Frederick Douglass, as like that of John Brown, marching on. 

From the ' ' Narragansett Times, ' ' Providence, R. I. ] 
A Reminiscence by Isaac P. Noyes. 

My knowledge of Frederick Douglass commences with the campaign 
of i860. In the fall of that year he came to Providence in the interest 
of the Republican ticket. There was some prejudice against color 
then and but for this prejudice he would have spoken in the larger 
Howard Hall, or perhaps at the depot, that was so much utilized 
during the Fremont campaign of 1S56. The committee evidently had 
a delicate and even difficult course to steer. They wanted to utilize 
every person or factor that would tend to make the campaign a 
success. Douglass was then coming to the front and as a veritable ex- 
slave, with a personal experience, he was quite a noted character. 
Had the people realized what a treat was before them they would 
readily have crowded Howard Hall, the largest hall then in the city ; 
but Douglass suffered from being a new man and negro, as well as ex- 
slave; and not much in the line of oratory was expected from a negro 
slave. Douglass being the man he was the committee evidently did 
not want to ignore him, nor treat him with disrespect ; so he was 
given the "Richmond," or smaller Howard Hall. 

At that time Douglass was quite slender, which made his tall form 
show to advantage, as he was also very straight and commanding. His 
hair was more after the type of the Indian than the negro; that is, it 
was black and long, and not much if at all like the genuine Africau 
hair. His dress was very plain, and the whole manner of the man was 
that of a worker. The polish that he acquired later in life he did not 


then have, but there was polish enough. He did not suffer on that 
account nor in comparison with the many able speakers of that memor- 
able campaign. He had something to tell the people of Providence, 
that was of deep interest to them. When he first entered the hall there 
were a few disrespectful remarks, in rather a quiet tone; as though 
feeling their way, the parties were ready to become boisterous if their 
little labors should prove successful. 

No more manly form ever stood on a public platform ; and could we 
have had kodaks then I would have given a fabulous price to have 
had the picture of Frederick Douglass as he then appeared on the plat- 
form of Richmond Hall. Naturally he referred to slavery and to the 
slave, but did not confine himself to that point. He launched out into 
as fine an analysis of public men as I ever heard or read of. We of 
the east had not heard much of Lincoln. We became interested in his 
contest with Stephen A. Douglass. Frederick Douglass was perfectly 
familiar with these men and their speeches in that memorable contest 
for the United States senatorship. Lincoln's speeches he said were 
replete with wisdom and originality ; for every occasion he had new 
thoughts and new treatment of his subject; whereas, he said Douglass 
had the same old speech every time ; and as he humorously expressed 
it, he sometimes commenced at the beginning, and went through to 
the end ; sometimes he commenced at the end and went backward ; 
sometimes in the middle — and sometimes at both ends! liut it was 
the same old speech every time. 

Almost all over the North and West they have, within the i> 
twenty-five years, seen and heard Douglass. Some have undertaken to 
compare him with Phillips and Sumner, and the other great lights of 
slavery times. He was like none of them. He was Frederick Douglass. 
He followed no type, nor did he ape any man. His style was free, 
natural and dignified. Sumner himself was not more dignified. 

As for scholarship, he was the peer of the ablest. He had evidently 
been a good reader of the best English literature; he never lacked for 
a good, apt and elegant illustration ; his mind was well stored, and a 
grand dignity presided over the whole man. This dignity gave him 
character with the world. 

He was highly honored, yet he bore his honors without ostentation, 
and every act revealed the cultured gentleman that he was. The very 
best born of the land could not have conducted themselves with more 
dignity, or with more gentlemanly bearing. He was a natural gentle- 
man as well as natural orator. Nowhere but in America could such a 
character have developed itself. Some of his training was in England, 
and he undoubtedly received much from the old countr\-. But his 
work was here, and here he developed the grand character that nature 
endowed him with. The great work of .slavery existed. He was 
earnest in condemning it and in doing all in his power to help drive 
it from the borders of the great republic; and this honesty of purpose 


only added to his character, and the more elevated the man before the 
world, and gave him such a standing and rank as fell to the lot of 
few men. 

For years he stood in the front rank with the peers of the land ; and 
on the platform before the most polished audience he was able to, and 
<Ud obtain the most flattering attention for gifts that made him on 
that platform the peer of the best men that at times stood there. 

His life was grand, from beginning to end. The old prophet said, 
it was well for a man to bear the yoke in his youth. He bore a heavy 
yoke — yet that yoke, nor all the adverse surroundings of the years was 
not able to keep such a spirit down, and it 'rose and 'rose until it 
became one of the mighty spirits in the land; and one that was always 
true to itself, and ever labored for the advancement of men. Frederick 
Douglass was a grand character and he well deserves all the honors that 
he has or shall receive. I. P. N. * * * 

Washington, D. C. , Feb. 2S, 1895. 

From the "New Englander, " 1S50. ] 

A Reminiscence. 

I went to the Fugitive Slave Convention at Cazenovia the other day 
for the purpose of daguerreotyping the world-known man whose name 
is at the head of this article. The meeting was held in a pleasant 
orchard, owned by a friend to humanity, who kindly permitted the 
colored Kossuths, Garibaldis and others, to meet under her vine and 
fig tree where no tyrant dare molest them or make them afraid. At 
the proper time for the commencement of the services of the meeting 
a large number of persons of every sect in religion, of every party in 
politics, and of even,' shade of complexion, met in this magnificent 
temple of nature. The golden chandelier in the blue roof above shone 
down like the smile of God upon that happy group of beautiful women 
and brave men — for though some of them were black, they were comely. 
There was Loguen, a noble, portly, dignified looking black, who 
escaped from slavery several years ago. He is now an acceptable and 
popular preacher of the gospel. There were the beautiful Edmonson 
girls, who were recaptured on board the ' ' Pearl, ' ' but who have now 
found a safe and welcome asylum here at the North. They are 
emphatically bright mulattoes, with even features, soft voices, perfect 
forms and eyes radiant with intelligence. Woe be unto the men who 
hold .such beings in bondage! 

Their chivalry is cruelty, their gallantry licentiousness, their hospi- 
tality the benevolence of free-booters. Gerritt Smith, the Great Heart 
of his party, was present and Miller, his son-in-law, acted as secretary. 


while that king of fugitive slaves, that black Demosthenes, Douglass, 
occupied the chair. It must have been extremely mortifying and 
humiliating to the slaveholders present, who came to the convention 
to hunt up their runaways, to see the chair occupied by a man who 
was once a slave, but who is now a freeman able to defeat any slave- 
holder in the land in a debate on the question of abolition. 

Frederick Douglass is nearly six feet tall, and well proportioned. 
He is a mulatto, not much darker than some of the slaveholders of the 
South. He has crisped hair which is marked with a few silver 
threads; a square brow, which does not indicate the giant mind of its 
possessor; an aquiline nose; a wide mouth and compressed lips which 
show the unyielding firmness of the man. He has a habit of twitching 
the muscles of the mouth when he becomes excited, as though a speech 
was breaking out of it in silent syllables. He dresses neatly, moves 
about deliberately and gracefully, and is courteous and gentlemanly in 
his deportment. He is perfectly free from affectation. The honesty 
of his intentions shines transparently through his actions. As an 
orator, he ranks with the best speakers in Congress. Indeed there are 
but few men in the Senate whose language is as pure and forcible as his. 
One of the most eminent reporters in this country observed that he 
never heard but two speakers whose impromptu addresses were fit for the 
press as they came fresh from the lips of the orators — and these two 
persons who speak so accurately are the Governor of Canada and 
Frederick Douglass. Wliile but few of our educated men have such a 
command of classical English as Mr. Douglass, a still smaller number 
can equal him in eloquence and originality. His glowing logic, 
biting irony, melting appeals and electrifying eloquence astonish the 
multitudes that throng his meetings. 

It is universally admitted by the literati of Europe and America that 
Douglass is a great man, whose mind bears the unmistakable stamp of 
true genius. Yet this man, who had sufficient ingenuity and courage 
to escape from the prison-house of bondage, who has talent enough to 
make a name that will not die, who was received into the best society 
of the old world, is not permitted to sit at the same table with a white 
man, is insulted on board of our steamboats and rail-cars, and driven 
from our omnibuses and stage coaches, because of his complexion. 
Not long since he was mobbed in the city of New York, because he 
walked in the street with some white ladies of distinction who had 
crossed the Atlantic to pay him a visit. Since that time a band of 
ruffians assaulted him in the capital of Ohio, because he was black. 
Shame on the people who, by their voice and their votes, will sanction 
such an outrage! Shame on the church that remains dumb when she 
should crj- aloud and lift up her voice like a trumpet against such sins! 

Let us for a moment look at the wickedness and alwurdity of this 
prejudice against color. A few months ago Douglass was grossly 
insulted by the spruce captain of the "Alida. " \Vliy did this white 


fellow treat his passenger with such indignity? The latter paid his 
fare, treated all present with the utmost respect, did not assume any 
pompous airs, committed no crime and obeyed the rules which white 
people are requested to observe. The only fault in him was the color 
of his skin. Now place these men side by side, and look at them! 
Douglass is the more perfect model of the two, and decidedly the 
better looking man. In a personal encounter he would prove to be 
more than a match for his fair, or rather unfair, brother. But we say 
that the mind makes the man. Give to each of these a pen and paper 
and ask them to write an essay on whatever subject they may choose 
to select. The captain could only write a few dull commou-place, 
disjointed sentences, that would fall like feathers in a vacuum, whilst 
the fugitive slave would write ' ' thoughts that breathe and words that 
burn, ' ' and his rich essay would make the grand tour of the press, 
eliciting the admiration of men and women of taste and talent in both 

Lead them to the platform to address the masses. Let the captain 
speak first. He trembles, his tongue thickens, he cannot collect his 
thoughts, although they are not numerous, but he speaks "words, 
words, words," nothing but words, and they are neither constructed 
according to the rules of grammar, nor pronounced properly. He says 
that he is done, and the people shout "Amen !" Douglass is called. 
He rises deliberately. Owing to his color you cannot tell whether the 
blood rushes to his face or recedes from it, but the trembling of his 
hands, the twitching at the corner of his mouth and the shake of his 
voice, betray his embarrassment. He is modest, humble and unassum- 
ing. His fine figure and manly tones command the attention of the 
people, and they have almost forgotten that he is a colored man. He 
appeals to their sympathies and stout men weep like children; he 
argues, and they are convinced that it must be so ; he touches their 
mirthfulness, and the sunshine of good humor lights up every counten- 
ance. He says that he must stop — ' ' Go on, go on, ' ' exclaim the 
hearers from all parts of the house. Off he goes again. "How chaste 
his language!" says one; "What a sublime thought!" observes 
another; "Did you ever hear such sublime eloquence?" inquires a 

Now permit me to ask, Ought Douglass to blacken that captain's 
boots, and eat off his dirty plate at a second table? Is he such a con- 
temptible creature that he ought to pay cabin fare and then be kicked 
from the table into the steerage when he answers the bell that calls 
others to their meals? Must he be compelled to sit outside the stage 
coach in the storm, because inside there happens to be a white man 
with such a wooden head and such a wicked heart that he cannot 
endure the presence of his black brother? Shall we exclude him from 
our division rooms because a few tyrants at the South (and a few 
trucksters at the North), whose dwellings are cemented with the sweat 


and blood of the slave, insult their Maker by trampling upon what he 
has made? These plebeian pale-faces who condemn a man because of 
his complexion, show an obtuseness of mind and a hardness of heart 
which fit them for no other place than that now occupied by the slaves. 
Place them in the rice and cotton fields, let them cultivate crops of 
sugar and tobacco, and they will never <lo anything to secure their 
own emancipation. Shall such men as Douglass be returned to chains 
and slavery? 

The English people have paid a large sum of money to the man 
from whose clutches Frederick Douglass escaped. They did so to 
prevent his being recaptured. Now suppose that Douglass was a 
fugitive, and that no money had been paid to secure his liberty. He 
visits Massachusetts at a time when a number of Southern senators are 
visiting a distinguished man at Marshfield. "There goes Douglass!" 
exclaims Clemens. "Let us give chase and catch him !" replies Foote. 
Douglass will not run. There he stands, like a lion at bay, before 
hounds that dare not whet their fangs in his blood. They approach 
him with bowie-knives and pistols. He knocks the weapons from 
their hands, and, grasping them by their coat collars, puts their heads 
closer together than they ever were in Congress. They cry "enough!" 
and consent to argue the case in Faneuil Hall. A public meeting is 
called. The slaveholders speak first; the fugitive follows and answers 
their arguments. He batters down their hiding-place and builds a 
fortification for himself with the ruins. Even these men reluctantly 
acknowledge his power, and would deem it no disgrace to be beaten 
by a white man of equal ability. 

Douglass has imperfections. He is sometimes ferociously severe. 
.Some of his plans are impolitic and impracticable. His firmness 
amounts to unbending obstinacy. He does not give due credit always 
to the staunch friends of the slave that are not found within the pale of 
his party. He is the editor of the North Star, a paper which deserves 
extensive circulation. Few men have greater versatility of talent than 
Mr. Douglass. He can write a splendid essay, deliver an eloquent 
speech, labor a strong argument, mimic the mountebank jugglery and 
tomfoolery of politicians in search of office, and scourge with the lash 
of sarcasm the Priest and the Levite who pass on the other side when 
the slave is bleeding in chains. 


Biootapbical Sl^etcb. 



Slave, fugitive, crusader, champion achiever of truest 
success, statesman, wielder of vast usefulness, commander 
of the world's respect, yet with all of his honors humble, 
gentle as are all of the truly great — such was Frederick 
Douglass. In his immense ascent from the lower depths 
of condition where the masses were reached not even by 
the faintest glimmer of hope, to the heights of meritorious 
and even majestic triumph ; in his vast compass of 
experience, his strivings and failures, his noble aspirations 
and persistent upward mountings, his final complete and 
serene success, the life of this man affords one of the most 
satisfying illustrations of high human realization, that 
appears in the whole history of the world. And beyond 
all this his character and career were distinctly and dis- 
tinguishedly unique. He was to the Afro-American what 
Washington and Lincoln were to the Anglo-American. 

Frederick Douglass was bom a slave in Tuckahoe, near 
Easton, Md., on the plantation of Colonel Edward Lloyd. 
He never knew the exact time of his birth, but it was 
probably in February, 1817. The identity of his father 
was also a matter unknown, but he was unquestionably a 
white man. His mother, a slave, was Harriet Bailey, one 
of the five daughters of Isaac and Betsey Bailey, whose 
mere possession of a surname is evidence that they were 
one of the oldest and best class of slave families in 
Maryland, as it was not customary to allow any but such to 
bear surnames, and the superiority of the mother over the 
majority of her race in that time is further attested by the 


fact that she was the only colored person in the whole 
village who was able to read. She called her son Frederick 
Augustus Washington Bailey, but after his escape he took 
the simpler name which he made famous. His life was 
not dissimilar from that of other child slaves. Placed at 
work as early as his services had any value, he toiled on 
incessantly until he found freedom, seeing meanwhile with 
his own eyes, day by day, all of the details of slavery, the 
whippings, the outrages, the " grievous burden of life," and 
too, the little softening amenities, for such of course there 
were. He pondered upon the injustice of the " peculiar 
institution " as a million of his class had before him, but 
with a mind of far finer native fibre than the masses of his 
fellows he perceived far more than the>- — realized more 
acutely — and we have his word for it spoken when he was 
near the meridian of his life, free and educated, that he 
became "just as well aware of the unjust, unnatural and 
murderous character of slavery when nine years old, as I 
am now." Among the few bright spots in the slave boy's 
plantation life was the kindness of his master's daughter, 
Mrs. Thomas Auld, and later he was the recipient of 
valuable favors from Mrs. Hugh Auld, of Baltimore, to 
whom as his new mistress he was taken in 1825, soon after 
he had begun his ninth year. She taught him to read, or 
at least gave him rudimentary instruction in that medium 
of knowledge until her husband forbade, and this forbid- 
dance being in the hearing of the boy and coupled with a 
remark that education was a dangerous thing for a slave to 
possess, set the shrewd boy to thinking, with the result 
that he soon saw clearly the vast value of being able to 
read and sought to acquire the art with tenfold his former 
zeal, though surreptitiously, and he made rapid progress 
from that day forth. Education and freedom became 
coupled in his mind as a means and an end and he dili- 
gently worked his slow, hard way along the road toward 


his great objective point. By the time he was fifteen yeare 
old, the comparatively easy life of the boy was exchanged 
for one of hard labor in Mr. Auld's shipyard in Baltimore, 
and by the death of his mistress soon after he became the 
property of her husband who removed in 1833 to St. 
Michael's, a fishing village on the bay about forty miles 
from Baltimore. In the meantime our hero had made 
some good friends, had got larger glimmerings of the light 
of possible freedom, had gleaned fragments of knowledge, 
grown in mind, and had become converted to the creed of 
Christianity. He endeavored to study and also in a small 
way to teach, even organized a little school of black boys, 
which was quickly dispersed by his master and was threat- 
ened with the lash and with bullets if he did not desist. 
His master finding that there was danger he would rise in 
spite of all his efforts, surrendered the completion of the 
obdurate young slave's industrial education to one Covey, 
who was famous alike for his devout religion and his 
success in breaking unruly slaves. By this man he was 
overworked and ferociously flogged for what it had been 
beyond his power to prevent. Again and again this chas- 
tisement was repeated during a period of six months, and 
the sterling, strong, courageous spirit which finally pre- 
vailed and became the champion of his race as well as the 
corrector of his own wrongs, was, for the time being, 
thoroughly cowed. Douglass has said that, if at any one 
time more than another, it was then that he was " made to 
drink the bitterest dregs of slaverj'. ... A few months 
of this discipline tamed me. ... I was broken in body, 
soul and spirit. . . . My natural elasticity was crushed ; 
my intellect languished ; the disposition to read departed ; 
the dark night of slavery closed in upon me ; and behold 
a man transformed into a brute ! I had neither sufficient 
time in which to eat or sleep, except on Sunday. ... I 
spent this in a sort of beast-like stupor, between sleeping 


and waking under some large tree. ... I was some- 
times prompted to take my life and that of Covey, but was 
prevented by a combination of hope and fear. . . . The 
overwork and the brutal chastisement, combined with that 
ever gnawing and soul-devouring thought ' I am a slave — a 
slave for life — a slave with no rational ground to hope for 
freedom,' rendered me a living embodiment of mental and 
physical wretchedness." But a great change — a revulsion 
and revolution — was near at hand. 

It soon came about that he was again most brutally 
assaulted, kicked and clubbed by Covey. He fled to his 
master. Captain Auld, who ordered his return to the over- 
seer. He obeyed, but there had grown up in his heart a 
fierce and determined spirit of resentment and resistance in 
place of the submission which he had been taught was the 
only proper attitude toward the oppressor. The oppor- 
tunity for exercise of this newly engendered heroism was 
not delayed. No sooner had he met the overseer than 
that individual proceeded to punish him for his absence 
and his appeal to his master. Instead of meekly receiving 
chastisement, the slave stood up manfully and a terrific 
fight followed in which Covey and those whom he ordered 
to his assistance wdre vanquished. The overseer never 
tried again to inflict punishment upon Frederick though 
he had opportunity and even provocation within the few 
following months. Douglass called this the "turning 
point in his life." It made him a man instead of a timid 
boy, or, as he says, " a freeman in fact while I remained a 
slave in form." 

He was four years more in bondage, but was never again 
whipped, although it was several times attempted. For 
two years after that, in 1835 and 1836, he was hired out by 
Covey to a neighbor who treated his slaves much better 
than had been Frederick's lot for some time previously. 
Even the comparatively humane treatment that he 


received, however, was not sufficient to put to sleep in his 
soul the idea of freedom, and it was not long until the 
restless spirit was engaged in an attempt to escape to the 
North. This proved abortive and he was sent, in the latter 
part of 1836, to serve as an apprentice in a shipyard at 
Baltimore. He had been there before as a boy, but he 
returned now as a man — at least in physical and moral 
stature and stamina — and his education which had stood 
still for the most part during the interval of his absence, 
was again resumed under those meagre advantages which 
he could command. Young freedmen of the city permitted 
him to enter a club, the East Baltimore Mutual Improve- 
ment Society, from which other slaves were excluded. He 
met, too, during this period, Annie Murray, a free woman 
of color, with whom he fell in love and whom he eventually 
married, though he made no effort to then, because he was 
resolved to be a freeman before he took a wife. 

And now came the realization of the purpose he had 
secretly cherished for a dozen years. It was upon Septem- 
ber 3, 1838, that he made his break for freedom and became 
a fugitive instead of a slave. A sailor's passport was ob- 
tained through the kindness of an old free negro, which 
allowed the bearer to go wherever he liked. Provided with 
this, disguised as a seaman, under the assumed name of 
Stanley, and with the command of all the odds and ends 
of knowledge as to a seafarer's life which he had picked up 
about the shipyard, he took a train for the North and after 
several times escaping recapture, enduring trepidation and 
an agony of suspense, he at last reached New York City 
and breathed with comparative ease and a sense of inmui- 
nity from danger. He went to the house of a colored 
preacher who had previously been made acquainted with 
the plan and there waited for a few days until the arrival 
of his betrothed, to whom he was soon married by his 
clerical friend. 


It was not until many years later, indeed after the abol- 
ishment of slaver}^ that Douglass talked freely of the 
manner of his escape, though often pressed to do so, but 
when his revealing of the facts could no longer imperil the 
chances of other fugitives, because there no longer were 
such, he told the whole story. The marriage proved a most 
happy one and it may be remarked in passing, was blessed 
with offspring. (Rosetta, born June 20, 1839 ; Lewis Henry, 
October 9, 1840; Frederick, March 3, 1842; Charles 
Remond, October 2, 1844, and Annie, March 22, 1849.) 
The fugitive and his wife journeyed in the middle of Sep- 
tember to New Bedford, Mass., where he had reason to 
believe he could have employment in one of the great 
shipyards. In that old seaport town, the ex-slave received 
the name he was destined to make world-famous, adopted 
at the suggestion of a free colored man named Nathan 
Johnson, who greeted him on his arrival hospitably, and 
entertained and befriended him through the years of his 
greatest struggling. Johnson suggested the name of Doug- 
lass because it was fresh in his mind from reading of Sir 
Walter Scott's hero, and it was not an inappropriate name 
for the man who was to carve out such a career as did the 
one time slave and the future champion of his race. 

His life was full of vicissitudes and both himself and 
wife were obliged to go out to service when other employ- 
ment failed him, and it was when he stood behind a chair 
as a waiter he first heard the conversation of one of the 
great men with whom he was to be a co-worker, Robert C. 
Winthrop. He carried on his studies with new zeal and 
greater advantage, now that he was a free man, and made 
corresponding advancement. He became somewhat noted 
in a year or so as a speaker to colored people, and in the 
beginning of August, 1841, in an assemblage at New Bed- 
ford, heard for the first time William Lloyd Garrison, Parker 
Pillsbury and other leading abolitionists, and later in the 


same month, going to Nantucket to attend another series 
of meetings of the same nature, was called out for the first 
time in his life to address a white audience. He spoke in 
fear and trembling, but according to the testimony of sev- 
eral of his distinguished hearers, with fine effect. Before 
he returned to New Bedford, he accepted an invitation from 
the ageut of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society to 
enter into its service as a lecturer and travel to and fro 
with him narrating his experience wherever he could find 
an audience. He accepted reluctantly, doubtful of his 
ability, and for a period of only three months, but that was 
the beginning of more than fifty years of public pleading 
for his race, — a score of years for the overthrow of slavery, 
and that being accomplished, more than a score and ten 
years for the betterment of the blacks by other measures, 
political, humanitarian, religious and educational. He fast 
mounted to the position of a great power in the cause 
which he espoused. He became a strong factor in the van- 
guard of freedom's soldiers and was a constant, brave, 
effective fighter through the whole long struggle, — a crusa- 
der until he stood among the champions, and then enlisted 
over again for still other crusades. 

In 1845 ^1^ wrote his autobiography which exerted a 
great deal of influence in the anti-slavery movement and 
brought the writer into prominence. From that time on- 
ward his career was before the greater public. It is a part 
of the larger histor)^ of the United States, indeed of free- 
dom in the world. Its details are too innumerable for 
mention within the limits of a rapidly drawn outline such 
as is the province of this work. His life henceforth belonged 
to the people and grew larger and nobler and more xtseful 
in the ken of the masses. He was invited to deliver a 
series of lectures in England and was absent on that errand 
for about a year. Upon his return in 1847, he established 
in Rochester, New York, the Norfk Slar, with money given 


him for the purpose by friends whom he made in England. 
Its name was soon changed to Frederick Douglass^ Paper., 
and for a period of seventeen years it was a prosperous and 
influential organ of the propaganda of freedom, its publica- 
tion being abandoned when slavery was abolished. 

During all of that time he was a noted lecturer and 
achieved great distinction, not alone by the righteousness 
of the cause he fought for, but by the ability he developed 
as a thinker and an orator. Immense crowds flocked to hear 
him in the cities of the North, but not at once, for he had 
to pass through the dark and even perilous days when anti- 
slavery sentiments were far from popular. At length, and 
in larger measure from his own efforts, the public conscience 
was aroused and the majority were upon the side of the 
erstwhile much hated pioneers of freedom. When John 
Brown of Harper's Ferry fame came into the arena as one 
of the militant forces in the " impending struggle," Doug- 
lass had some connection with him — just how much was 
not known at the time and has perhaps never been fully 
shown. After Brown fled from Kansas charged with mur- 
der and other crimes, he was for weeks in Douglass' house 
in Rochester, while Federal officers were searching for him. 
Douglass was aware of all of Brown's intended movements, 
knew that he proposed to strike in Virginia, and that his 
purpose was to run the slaves off to freedom without using 
violence. Previous to the expedition, Douglass visited 
Brown who was hiding in a secluded spot near Chambers- 
burg, Pa., had several long talks with him, and gave him 
considerable money. When news of the Harper's Ferry 
insurrection came in 1859, Douglass' friends were uneasy 
for his personal safety though he himself felt no uneasiness. 
But his friends were wiser than he. They came to liim 
with word to flee because officers were even then searching 
for him. Realizing at last that he was in danger, Douglass 
made his way by " underground railroad " to Canada and 


thence sailed for England. There he remained nntil the 
Virginia authorities were glad to nolle pros the indictment 
against him, for he had been fonnally and legally indicted 
for murder and would have been hanged if caught. All 
through the war period which followed, Douglass was an 
incessantly active force in pushing projects for the abolition 
of slavery, and when that was accomplished, in aiding the 
freedmen by the numerous schemes that were found imper- 
ative and some of which resulted in lasting and great good. 
In 1866 he was elected a delegate from Rochester to 
the loyalists convention at Philadelphia. It was mainly 
by his efforts that the convention declared in favor of 
universal suffrage. In 1870 he went to Washington with 
a modest fortune, and bought the Natioiial Era newspaper, 
but it was never a commercial success, and after sinking 
considerable money in his endeavor to make it so, he 
relinquished his purpose. From that time on Washington, 
or its suburb, Anacostia, was his home, and he was con- 
spicuously identified with the life of the National Capital, 
though often seen in the chief cities of the country. Long 
before this Mr. Douglass had become a leader in politics. 
He supported General Grant for the Presidency in 1S68 
and 1872, and was elector-at-large from New York State 
in the latter year, and to him more than any one else was 
due the support of the great general by the colored vote in 
the campaign of that year. The President soon afterward 
appointed him a councillor or member of the upper house 
of the legislature of the District of Columbia. He was 
afterward a member of the Presidential Commission to 
San Domingo. Making, as he did, almost constantly, 
political, sociological and religious addresses, he maintained 
in all a high average of excellence and great effectiveness, 
but the zenith point in his achievement of this kind was 
undoubtedly reached on April 14, 1876, when he delivered 
in the presence of the President, Cabinet, Judges of the 


Supreme Court, Senators and Representatives, at Washing- 
ton, an oration on the unveiling of the freedmen's statue 
of Lincoln. President Hayes appointed Douglass Marshal 
of the District of Columbia, and during the administration 
of Presidents Garfield and Arthur he was Recorder of 
Deeds. These several posts with that of Minister to 
Hayti, to which he was appointed by President Harrison, 
and all of which he filled with ability and distinction, 
were his few ofiicial rewards for a lifetime of service to 
principle and party. His greater reward was the honor of 
the whole liberty-loving world, the consciousness of a noble 
and most difficult duty satisfactorily performed. He labored 
heroically for his race, with no hope or expectation of 
reward, and from absolute singleness of motive — duty to 
humanity. Upon his devotion to the interests of the 
colored people and his views in regard to them, one of 
their number has said since his death : 

" Consistency was a strong feature of his character. He 
never compromised his principles. During the darkest 
hour of his career his patriotism never waned. America 
he claimed to be the proper home of the Afro-American 
and no other country could claim his fealty. An American 
he would live, an American he would die. Therefore 
every scheme of deportation, colonization, segregation of 
the Afro-American met with his unqualified disapproba- 
tion. He discountenanced any movement looking to the 
removal of the negro from the South. The South, he 
claimed, belongs to the Afro-American. It is his natural 
habitat, he has enriched it by his labor, watered it with 
his tears, and preserved it to the Union with his life's 
blood. His attitude on all political questions and at all 
times was consistent with those principles. . . . He 
had also the courage of his convictions. Ever faithful to 
his race throughout the changes and chances of political 
life his indomitable courage knew no defeat, his bold spirit 


knew no discomfiture. When other men quailed and 
surrendered before the enemy, Douglass unfurled the black 
flag and rushed in where the battle was fiercest. He never 
allowed the wily later-day negro-philc to pose before him 
as an apologist for Southern barbarism. The iron of 
slavery had sunk deep into his soul and the rust rankled 
there and roused in him on such occasions a fury of burn- 
ing invective or biting satire." 

And another writer adds: " Mr. Douglass believed in the 
colored people. He believed that in this country there is 
a great future for them and that they will ultimately justify 
every prophecy for good made with regard to them. He 
not only gave expression to his belief in their ability to 
become capable men of business, if given a fair trial, but 
he emphasized that confidence by contributing his money 
liberally to help their industrial enterprises. Right here 
in the city of Washington, he was the first president of the 
Industrial Building and Savings Company ; a large stock- 
holder in the Alpha Life Insurance Company, and one of 
the heaviest depositors in the Capital Savings Bank — all 
institutions controlled and managed by colored men." It 
was as here indicated that Mr. Douglass continued to use 
his ability and influence for his people even down to the 
day of his death. 

In the meantime, his domestic life had undergone a 
change. His first wife died in 1882, and in 1884 he was 
married to Miss Helen Pitts, a cultivated and intelligent 
lady, a native of New York but who had resided for .some 
time in Washington. His residence, well known to public 
men and through the press to the people generally, was in 
Anacostia. It was there that his remarkable life closed sud- 
denly on the evening of Febniar>' 20, 1895. He evidently 
died of heart di.sease after passing the day in usual health 
and in the pursuit of his customary mode of life. The 
announcement of his demise was flashed over the countr\', 


and the press of two continents the next morning contained 
ample sketches of his phenomenal public career from slave 
to statesman, and glowing tributes to the qualities of his 
mind and heart. There were numerous public and private 
testimonials of bereavement and tributes paid to his worth. 
Most marked of all was perhaps the adjournment of the 
legislature of North Carolina as a mark of respect called 
out by his death. It was the more significant from the fact 
that the action was taken in the legislature of a Southern 
State and one in which but a short time before there had 
been lost motions to adjourn in honor of Washington and 
Lee. So it had surpassing significance to the people who 
were watching intently for some of the passing away of 
old conditions and the coming of the new. That an ex-slave 
who had passed upward into fame and finally into " the 
great security " should be thus honored in a former slave 
State, was indeed one of the strange and thought-inspiring 
events of this mightily changeful generation. 

Frederick Douglass' career, his purity of character, his 
allegiance to principle, his fearlessness, his unceasing fight 
for freedom, his high ability, his sound and moving oratory, 
his picturesque and noble appearance, his powerful 
personality now fresh in the minds of the people will be 
perpetuated in the history of the country and the heart of 
humanity. Of him, it may be said in the words spoken 
of another apostle of liberty : " He lived to see justice 
triumphant, freedom universal, and to receive the tardy 
praises of his former opponents. The blessings of the 
poor, the friendless and the oppressed enriched him."